Chiswick Put Beaconsfield In Their Place
Rugby result- Chiswick 34 Beaconsfield 12
On a glorious afternoon for rugby, third-placed Chiswick retained their remote chance of promotion to London 1 by showing fourth-placed Beaconsfield that their earlier defeat by them had been an aberration.
After a tight opening sequence, with Chiswick using the power of Simon Hallett, Reggie Regan and Sam Leslie-Miller to gain ground, Beaconsfield made their first mistake, kicking long to wonder-kid Joe Grindle. His powerful return kick over the last defender, augmented by his speedy follow-up, put the visitors into a dither, and Chiswick found a good attacking position. Sam Hood made the first, routine lineout take, but Jon Gibson’s burst for the line ended in a flurry of blows and a long lecture to both captains by the youthful referee.
Chiswick maintained their pressure and set siege to the Beaconsfield line which they finally surmounted. The try was given, and it transpired that Tom Shattock had scored it. Hallett confidently slotted the conversion. An attritional period followed, with strong tackling the order of the day. The Chiswick pack had a slight scrum advantage, while the Beaconsfield forwards excelled in supporting each other in open play, where their No.8 was prominent throughout. After half-an-hours play, Beaconsfield drew level with their own forward surge over the try-line, the conversion again being a formality. Just before half-time, a yellow card gave Chiswick a manpower advantage, which they seized avidly, mauling over the line for Leslie-Miller to get the touchdown. The try was converted.
A delicious cross-field kick by Grindle early in the second half allowed Tom Steer to show his pace down the left wing, but the bounce was unkind, and the chance went begging. Chiswick captain, scrum-half Luca Vannini, faced with a smaller No.8 was determined to make life very uncomfortable for him, and Beaconsfield were being starved of possession. A long Regan kick forced the Beaconsfield defence into a hasty kick, which was charged down. Hood was there to kick the ball forward and then deflect it back. Eventually Hallett emerged from a forest of players to score in the corner. He then pulled the kick left of the posts.
When Beaconsfield were restored to full strength, they produced a magnificent maul, leading to a try ten metres left of the posts, followed by a poor and unsuccessful conversion attempt. Chiswick came back with a good open side attack on an advantage, curtailed when an over-ambitious long pass sailed past Ady Lewis and into touch. They went back for the kick, however, and Hallett added three points to the Chiswick lead, making it more comfortable. Sam Biss, in for the absent Chiswick terrier, Rikki Darroch, was more-and- more prominent as the match progressed, but the whole team was fully committed. In trying to keep the play open, Chiswick got a little careless, and Tom Steer was given the ball in a two-on-four situation. However, he and the lone supporting player, Grindle, kept their heads well and Hallett eventually tidied up
Leslie-Miller was the next to prove his kicking prowess with a long one to the corner as Chiswick kept the pressure on. Steer then fancied his chances down the line, but his kick ahead faded into touch. Tom Adams was the next to show with an excellent tackle on that large No.8. The Beaconsfield attacks were getting desultory, and the highlight of the day followed maestro as Hood suddenly intercepted a pass and transferred the ball on a metaphorical silver platter into the grateful hands of Hallett. The Chiswick fly half exited downstage pursued by a pack of baying Beaconsfield bloodhounds. As he touched down in the corner, a ghostly voice was heard to exclaim “ I say, Jeeves. Ta awfully, what?” .
The kick proved too difficult, but Chiswick weren’t finished yet, and after a scare when one of their clearance kicks was charged down, only to roll back over the dead ball line, they scored again. Sub Gabs Box demonstrated his half-volley pick-up skills before the ball was passed out to Grindle, now lurking on the left wing, and there was no stopping him. Hallett produced the conversion of the match to add the icing on a very special cake. Indeed, if the tasselled caps for Chiswick centurions (100 first team appearances) had been presented before the match, rather than late on in the celebrations in the Chiswick club-house, they would have spent quite a time in the air towards the end of this tremendous Chiswick performance. It was very fitting that an England centurion, Jason Leonard, should be the one to make the presentation, and interesting and surprising that he claimed never to have played 100 matches for any club!
Chiswick team:- Shattock, Dibble, Joubert, Hood, Joyce, Adams, Biss, Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Hallett, Lewis, Gibson, Regan, Steer, Grindle. Subs:- Box, Grey, Lowe
January 13, 2014