Chiswick Have To Settle For One Point


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Result :- Chiswick 12 Guildford 17

After last week’s debacle, where a ridiculous change in the Laws forced Chiswick, having had two props injured early on, to play for 65 minutes with 14 players, despite still having one sub available, this was an exciting encounter between Chiswick and the team second in the League. (the law change was sensible for squads of 22 or 23, but surely not for squads of 18, where requiring two props to sit on the bench to avoid this situation is surely a retrograde step – a case surely for the press to take up).

Chiswick started brightly, and had the lion’s share of possession, with tidy play, using Jon Joyce’s strong running, and the ubiquitous marauding of the returning Riki Darroch at No.7. A tricky wind caused no problems for Simon Hallett, who slotted a couple of difficult penalty kicks immaculately to put Chiswick ahead. With Joe Grindle and Jamie Milais unavailable, the Chiswick backs were reorganised, with Dan Sutherland having a good game at full back, and Tom Steer back at right wing. After a long period of Chiswick domination which just lacked a final thrust, Guildford began to show their forward strength, with the pack pushing Chiswick back at the scrums, and mauling well, especially from lineouts, where Chiswick were again outplayed. A long Guildford kick downfield, on the half hour, followed by a penalty kick to touch, gained the visitors a five metre lineout, from which they surged over the home line. The conversion kick was excellent, and Guildford were ahead, against the run of play.

Some scrappy play ended with a hopeful downfield kick by Guildford giving Parmeter a chance to show his talents as he hared across the field and plucked the ball from under the noses of the onrushing players before producing a high left foot kick to trouble the Guildford defence. As the catcher dithered it was Parmeter, with help from Steer, who nailed him in front of the posts, and set up a great attacking opportunity. Guildford showed their defensive qualities well at this stage however, and nearly got an interception. Five minutes before half time, with the home defence being pulled from side-to-side on their 22, a well-timed pass from the inside centre allowed the visitors’ right wing to accelerate rapidly down the line, elude a couple of home tackles, and score an unconverted try. The half finished with two great saving tackles, by Dan Godfrey and Hallett, and another thwarted home surge to the Guildford line.

Allowing the Guildford left wing to catch their kick-off was somewhat careless, and gave the visitors an impetus to attack. The referee put an end to this, by penalising the Guildford front row for “pushing in” at a scrum close to the home line. Hallett then reduced the gap with another splendid goal kick. The highlight of the second half came after a long home clearance kick, caught by the Guildford right wing, who embarked upon a brilliant weaving 60 metre run to the home line. In a bizarre following episode Godfrey and Steer charged the kick, and it all ended somehow with the kicker scuffing the ball along the ground whilst appealing to the referee.

Although Chiswick kept trying hard, with Steer knocking on just short of the line and sub Mikhail Ahola knocking a few holes in the Guildford defence, three points courtesy of Hallett’s boot was their only reward, and indeed if a Guildford player had not dropped the ball on the Chiswick line in the dying moments, they would have gained nothing from a good performance. Solid performer Sam Biss and Sutherland had contrived to cause a flutter just before this, both going for the same high ball, but the latter managed to retain possession as he had done under every earlier high ball and the danger was averted.

Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, Parmeter, Joyce, Copperwheat, Biss, Darroch, Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Hallett, Steer, Godfrey, Bunbury, Purkiss, Sutherland; Dean, Ahola, Lowe

December 3, 2015