Rugby Result :Chiswick 17 Crowborough 10
Chiswick won their London & SE Intermediate Cup Semi Final after coming through a tough encounter. Crowborough, belying their mid table position in London SE 2, were strong opposition in all aspects of the game and should have taken the lead in the first 10 minutes, but a simple penalty kick drifted wide of the posts.
Both sides showed their intent to run the ball, but a rain shower at the start of the match created a tacky pitch, making side stepping at pace, difficult.
On 26 minutes, Crowborough opened the scoring when Chiswick were penalised for Not Releasing in front of their post. 0-3
Three minutes later Chiswick took the lead. Joe Grindle (fullback), returning a clearing kick from Crowborough, ran 40 metres through the Crowborough defense, before putting in aa chip kick for Sam Leslie Miller (No 8) to collect on the Crowborough 22. His strong run was halted just a metre from the posts, but Chiswick recycled the ball quickly and created an overlap for Centre Dan Godfrey to score. Gabs Lowe converted. 7-3
Chiswick continued to pressurise, with Riki Darroch leading the tackle count and forcing handling mistakes from Crowborough. Chiswick came close to scoring when a forwards drive and then fine 'basketball style' interpassing by the forwards saw Tom Dean (Loose Head Prop) crash over the try line, but the referee determined a forward pass.
The dominance of territory by Chiswick however was not capitalised on and even a penalty awarded for 'in at the side' was not converted. Inevitably, Crowborough were to have their moment, and a mis-timed kick by their fly half was collected by their winger and Crowborough scored in the right hand corner. The try was converted 7 - 10
In the second half, Chiswick increased the tempo of the game and line breaks began to happen with more regularity. Once again, Crowborough were forced to concede a penalty and this time Gabs Lowe's kick was successful. 10 - 10
Two minutes later, a three-quarters move saw Dan Sutherland (Right Wing) round his man and gave an inside pass for second row, Jon Joyce to score near to the posts. Gabs Lowe converted. 17 - 10
Crowborough then made some tactical changes, in particular at flyhalf, introducing more running plays into their game plan, rather than kicking. However, it was their scrum half who created their best chance when his box kick beyond the Chiswick winger bounced awkwardly, but the onrushing Crowborough player was deemed to have been 'held up' over the Chiswick Try line. Chiswick, however, continued to dominate for long period with Sam Leslie Miller prominent in most of the plays and Jon Gibson (Centre) getting beyond the gain line with increasing regularity.
With 2 minutes remaining, Crowborough had their final effort through a forwards drive thwarted by stern Chiswick defending and in their attempt to move the ball wide, a dropped pass in the 3s ended their challenge.
Chiswick will meet Maidstone in the Regional Final on 14 March - the winners will play in the National Semi Final of the Intermediate Cup.
February 17, 2015