Blizzard Wins In The Rugby
Rugby result :- Harpenden 0 Chiswick 0 (Game Abandoned at Half Time)
A large crowd of over 100 people witnessed this wintry farce played on a patchwork pitch of white blocks and grey lines, where the snow had been cleared. Harpenden, desperate for some league points, had included Andy Gomersall and Rob Henderson in their lineup which might have explained the size of the crowd. For four minutes the ball remained within ten metres of where it dropped from the kick-off, as players either slipped to the ground or dropped the ball from their numb fingers.
Gabs Lowe looked tidy behind a dominant Chiswick pack, but after another couple of minutes of Chiswick pressure, Harpenden got the ball and a long down-wind kick found an isolated George Dimitriadis with a quick winger all over him. Snow and mud are not the recommended moisturiser for the face, but that was Dimitriadis's first contact with the pitch. This turned out to be Plan A for the home team, and the Chiswick winger proved well up to the continuing challenge.
The farce continued, with passing that would have produced rude comments from a minis manager, and would-be tacklers left foolishly stuck if the ball carrier changed direction. The referee found much more fault with the home team, but Chiswick's penalty kicks to touch often finished behind the kicker. The Chiswick pack was dominant in the scrums, but the visitors could not move the ball quickly well away from the packs. Harpenden annoyed some of their fans by kicking regularly, but Dimitriadis, Ray Brooks and Dave Hill generally did very well not to knock the ball on. When they did keep the ball in hand they were more threatening, and their right winger finished off the best attacking move of the game with a dive into the right corner. At first, the referee thought it was a try, but he was persuaded otherwise after consultations, and Chiswick gained a five metre scrum and then a kick.
Both sides were determined to throw the ball around, but very few people could get going, Jon Gibson being one of them. Even he could not run far, being unable to change direction in his usual jinking way. Sam Hood and John Joyce were their usually competent selves in the lineouts, and the Chiswick back row worked hard and well, whilst the front row looked really good. When Chiswick set up a good position in the home 22, they were twice penalised for crooked throw-ins which looked pretty good from the stand, given the strength of the wind. Play fizzled out, and another dropped pass signalled what turned out ( after some consultation ) to be the final whistle. Veteran Kelvin Campbell said he'd always wanted to play in such conditions, but never had, in over 500 games for Chiswick. Several players would without doubt have happily offered him their place in the team.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, Joubert, Hood, Joyce, Adams, Darroch, Leslie-Miller, Lowe, Hallett, Dimitriadis, Gibson, Noble, Brooks, Hill
March 11, 2013