First Rate Win For Chiswick Seconds
Result: Chiswick 2nd XV 27, Old Priorians Saints 7
With both Chiswick and Old Priorians first XVs in London 1 leagues, there was a real incentive for wannabes to play out of their socks in this fixture, especially for those in the home team, spurred on by their superiors, whose match was postponed.
Chiswick stormed out of the blocks, and dominated the play early on, with Phil Gray ghosting past would-be tacklers as if they did not exist. He also proved a real nuisance to the opposition in the lineouts. The Chiswick pack also dominated in the scrums, pushing the opposition back at will. Despite all of these pluses, the only early scores were two Chiswick penalty goals, the first a long one, kicked immaculately by Gabs Lowe on his return from a low-fat diet in Spain. This was down to the robust defence put up by the Priorians Saints, whose appellation appeared somewhat optimistic. Given the paucity of their possession, it was a shame that their fly half either fed the ball back to the forwards or kicked, especially given that their left wing proved a real handful when given half a chance to shine.
The Saints’ forwards were finding their feet in the loose, however, making good yards, with their flame-haired No.5 prominent. A penalty kick to touch was followed by a good lineout take in the home 22, and a maul which was stopped illegally. The tapped penalty in front of the posts allowed the said No.5 to prove that four tacklers were not enough to stop him reaching the line. 7- 6 to the Saints after 25 minutes.
The Chiswick forwards kept working hard trying to gain yards, with Hayden Watene and Simon Allen-Clarke putting in a huge effort, and with Matt Cooper adding a few pounds to the equation Chiswick kept play in the opposition’s half. A couple of excursions nearly to the Saints’ goal line were spoilt by dropped passes, but it became clear that Chiswick could gain a lot of ground with mauling. Prop Heath McDonnagh appeared everywhere in the loose, gaining five yards or so each time, but the Saints were still ahead at half time.
The Chiswick pressure eventually told in the second half, with quality subs coming on and off at frequent intervals. A Chiswick scrum in the Saints’ 22 allowed the home pack to push to near the line before Cooper came away with the ball and powered over for the touch down. Lowe put the conversion over the bar and into the allotments and from then on it was relatively plain sailing. Supercharged sub Mikhail Ahola was pulled down just short of the line. The home forwards were not to be denied however, and the pack surged over the line at the next scrum, with Watene neatly touching down. Lowe’s golden boot added the points.
Towards the end, the Saints put in a late effort, with a long period of pressure, requiring strong tackling by Chiswick, with Watene, Tom Harper, Ben Catliff and Marko Chraplewczyk amongst others demonstrating how to do it in a great team performance. The icing on the cake was to come, with a break by Catliff followed by a neat inside pass to Watene. The No.4 found sub Ady Lewis in support. A typical balanced, head-up run took Lewis into the 22 where he passed on the responsibility to Ahola to score a memorable try. After that Lowe had to keep his 100% record up, which he did with aplomb.
Chiswick team :- McDonnagh, Kneen, Chraplewczyk, Watene, Allen-Clarke, Darroch, Gray, Cooper, Vannini, Lowe, Catliff, Harper, Stratford, McLaughlin, Purkiss; Dean, Reed, Anderson, Ahola, Lewis, Gregson
January 12, 2016