Herts Hoodoo Hung Out To Dry

Rugby result: St Albans 3 Chiswick 24

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Sports in Chiswick

Chiswick in Herts has been bad news – not any longer. A soft wet pitch ensured a scrappy start, with the Saints predictably trying short charges off the sides of the ruck. Home pressure led to a couple of penalties, the second of which gave the Saints three points. Chiswick came back with some well-structured play, and Ben Sutherland was agonisingly short of the line after a break by Ben Cheston. St Albans then made a crucial mistake, buying a Dawsonesque dummy from the rejuvenated Hansie Bezuidenhout, as he hurtled towards the line hugging the ball after a 22 dropout. Keith Luckman added the points, as general euphoria reigned in the Chiswick camp.

Simple rugby was the order of the day as Chiswick began to take control and run the patterns. Quick off-the-top ball from Seth McCullun eventually gave Chris Hallewell a clean run in midfield. The ball was recycled efficiently, and carried blind from Cheston to the supporting Chris Morris, with James Hitchmough on the outside. Morris, not to be outdone by Bez, dummied, stepped in and out, and scored five metres in from the corner. Luckman met the challenge, and Chiswick were 11 points clear at half-time.

Buoyed by success in the lineouts, and by achieving some parity in the scrums, Chiswick kept their foot down, and with John Gibson and Hallewell thrusting down the middle, the home defence began to reel, and a bullocking run by Bez ignited the touch paper. Some blows later, the Saints ( sinners ?) were down to 14. Chiswick then blew it, losing their resultant lineout ( so what’s new ?), and then embarking on a grubber-kick tactic, rather than exploiting possible overlaps. Stuart Parmeter came close to scoring before the Saints finally broke upfield from their 22. Cheston’s superb cover tackle stopped them, and further tackles forced the home side wide out. With all the bases covered a lobbed pass was intercepted by Cheston. The flier was caught just short of the line, but scrum half Luca Vannini was there to crash over for his first try for the firsts. Luckman failed with the kick.

With the minutes ticking away, Chiswick went in search of a bonus point, and got it when a move initiated by sub Tom Adams, and carried on by Gibson, Hallewell and sub Matt Cooper, led to Luckman going for the line. He was stopped, but it was Vannini again who dived over a melee of players on the ground to score. Bring on Hammersmith was the final call of the day.

Chiswick team: Donaldson, Tucker, Parmeter, Addison, McCullun, Morris ( Adams ), Kelly, Bezuidenhout ( Cooper ), Vannini, Luckman, Hitchmough, Hallewell, Gibson, Sutherland, Cheston

February 22, 2011