Stylish Finish To Chiswick's Season

Rugby result - Hampstead 21 Chiswick 57

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Overcoming their disappointment at failing to achieve promotion to London 1, Chiswick entertained the fans with a display of champagne rugby in lovely weather on the Heath.

Captain Luca Vannini was in the right place to catch an early bouncing ball that wrong-footed everyone else, and he sent Joe Grindle away on his first darting burst of the afternoon. At the first scrum, Chiswick exhibited the driving power of their pack, with Rowan Tonkin and Tom Shattock in command at the front. Things looked ominous for Hampstead as Sam Leslie-Miller carried the ball forward. The pressure was sustained and after the pack had pushed their way inches from the home line, only to lose control at the last instant, the next five metre scrum provided another opportunity, and Jon Joyce, with intimate support from Vince Walker, got the touch-down. Simon Hallett bisected the posts with his conversion.
Hampstead targeted the wrong guy at the kick-offs, Rikki Darroch being on splendid form, and running everything back with his usual voracious appetite
Having let the forwards score first, Chiswick’s backs had to respond, and Reggie Regan made a searing break, only to find a forward, namely Leslie-Miller waiting for the scoring pass. 2-0 to the heavies. Hallett eased the ball over from ten metres. Ady Lewis tried a couple of interesting kick-and-chases down the right wing, only for Hampstead to counter-attack well from their goal-line. It was not going to be all one way, after all. Tom Shattock and Vince Walker in turn got over the home line, but each time the ball was adjudged held up. Not to be thwarted, Chiswick’s pack surged to the line again, and Vannini dived in to get the touch-down. Hallett missed this time.

As Vannini indignantly protested the fairness of the Hampstead nicking of what he considered his ball at an ensuing break down, the referee allowed play to go on, and a neat passing movement ended with the home No.12 touching down under the posts, the conversion following.
Chiswick woke up again, and Hallett found Grindle running a brilliant right to left line as the ball was being moved out right. No-one got near him this time, and the bonus point was won. Hallett’s kick just missed. The try of the season followed almost immediately, with runners going in all directions before Tom Steer found Gabs Lowe outside him hurtling for the left flag. Expecting a plunge for the line, the home defender was rendered redundant by the exquisite inside sleight-of-the-hand pass which found Grindle cruising over the line. This try, the last of the half, just had to be converted, and was.

The Chiswick rugby team April 14th 2014

After an aggressive start to the second half, Chiswick got careless, and a well-worked move in midfield set the useful home No.13 free for a long run to the posts. The try was converted. With various injuries taking their toll, Chiswick made full use of subs Sam Biss and Sion Davis and continued to play very open rugby. The almost ever-present and ever-dependable James Dibble struggled on gamely until very nearly the end, before being gently escorted off by the coaches, Rocky Skinner and Adrian Hoile. Biss scored within minutes of racing eagerly on to the turf, after a strong burst from Shattock, Hallett converting. Ady Lewis, whose chips were not working well, then managed to take the spectating Steve Kick out, and not for a meal and a bottle of wine, as Shane Donaldson wittily observed.

Grindle’s appetite for tries was undiminished, and he soon completed his hat-trick, courtesy of Regan’s pass. Hallett’s kick failed. A big cheer greeted the next try, Lewis steaming into the centre of the back line and cruising over as he has done regularly for the last ten years in getting on for 200 appearances for the Club. Hallett’s conversion brought up the half century. Tom Steer finally got his reward for a lot of hard work when Regan put him in from close quarters, Hallett converting this one. The final try was scored fittingly by the ubiquitous home captain and No.8 in a final Hampstead rampage.

Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, Tonkin, Hood, Joyce, Walker, Darroch, Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Hallett, Lewis, Regan, Grindle, Steer, Lowe



April 14, 2014