H.A.C. Riddled By Chiswick Fire
H.A.C. 13 Chiswick 27
This was crunch time for Chiswick, propping up London 2 NW despite playing reasonably well. Dave Hill and Rikki Darroch came in for Keith Luckman and Rory Fletcher, and icons Mark Jones and Hansie Bez returned to the fray. Captain Luca Vannini was back, but Chiswick had to find a late replacement for a sick Jon Joyce, and Oli Hire was the chosen one.
Chiswick started well, Bez running the ball back 40 metres and with the forward pack supporting strongly, Chiswick gained a penalty which Hill slotted. H.A.C. came back with wave after wave of forward runners, kept out by good tackling marshalled by the ever-determined Jon Gibson. The home team, however, eventually drew level when Chiswick failed to roll away quickly enough.
Vannini was at his brilliant bustling best, moving his forwards around the pitch, with the Vannini/Hill combination working well. After 12 minutes Chiswick went ahead after a marauding run by Sam Leslie-Miller, well-supported by the forwards, gave Jones a chance to show his class, lacerating the defence to score under the posts, Hill converting. Failure to release gave H.A.C. an easy three points back, and the home team upped their fire-power. Chiswick grit was now the call, and Gibson and Jones, and the two Georges, Dimitriadis and Darrah showed how to defend, with Vannini and Hill clearing the ball upfield when necessary.
A booming line kick by Hill gave Chiswick a five metre lineout, and with Matt Pickering safely in charge of the ball the pack showed great cohesion before Jan Joubert slipped James Dibble the ball for a well-deserved try. Hill’s conversion was followed by sustained home pressure up to the break, aided by one of Jan Joubert’s tackles being deemed, atypically, a little high but Chiswick’s fourteen-man defence was sound, with Hill and Tom Adams saving certain tries.
Let off the hook by a scuffed penalty kick after a sloppy start to the second half, Chiswick made the most of a lucky bounce from the restart. Adams was to the fore, and then Vannini sent Gibson away down the blind side. Gibson fed Darrah, who drew his man and sent Vannini jogging in for a try under the posts. Hill did the honours, and then proceeded to pepper the H.A.C half with clever kicks, more appreciated by the confident Chiswick backs than the harried home defence. Jones was subbed by Gabs Lowe, Ady Lewis going to outside centre. Leslie-Miller made a forty metre break and found Vannini on the outside. A subtle kick seemed simple for the home full back until Darrah arrived early and smashed him into touch. Chiswick took advantage of their pressure with Hill dropping a goal after continuing suggestions from the Chiswick coach.
H.A.C. were not a spent force, and a surge back led to a converted try by their wing from a breakaway. The home team threw everything at Chiswick now, and only brave defence from Hire, Lewis and Adams amongst others kept them out. Chiswick even coped with the yellow-carding of Bez for over-enthusiasm, Leslie-Miller stepping forward to fill his shoes as well as his own, with huge tackles and cunning ball-stripping. With a minute to go, he produced his best effort, ripping the ball from the home No.8 feet from the Chiswick line, and charging upfield with Hill in support. The fly half kicked the ball 70 metres towards the corner, and the following-up Darroch and Dimitriadis forced the H.A.C. wing into touch. At the final whistle it was Darrah who was held up over the line as Chiswick celebrated an outstanding victory.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, Joubert, Pickering ( Hire ), Leslie-Miller, Adams, Darroch, Bezuidenhout, Vannini, Hill, Darrah, Gibson, Jones ( Lowe ), Dimitriadis, Lewis
November 6, 2012