Last Gasp Kick Snatches Win for Chiswick
Rugby Result : Brighton 27 Chiswick 29
Simon Hallett has a penchant for dramatic last kicks. He produced a beauty against Diss to secure Chiswick’s place in London 1 South, and then had a simple one against Civil Service to retain the Middlesex Cup. This one was from an almost identical spot to that at Diss, and its success was met, as the final whistle went, with a huge celebration by a team with eight changes from the week before, who had produced the first win of the season.
1st XV Man of the Match vs Brighton, Sponsored by Snappy Snaps Chiswick - Jamie Millais
Bad traffic caused a late start, but Brighton then were first off the mark with a try and a penalty goal to go eight points up, aided by an early yellow card for the visitors. After twenty minutes it was 15-0, the second try coming from the home No.8 after a period of Brighton pressure led to a five metre scrum.
Chiswick were beginning to find their feet, however, and realised that the Brighton backs were not the fastest they had met. Chiswick left wing Jamie Millais was obviously raring to have a run at them and when given quick ball, by the new combination of scrum half Rich Stratford and No.13, Ed East, from a Chiswick scrum in the home 22, he powered into the corner to open the Chiswick account. Hallett’s kick was nowhere near.
It was Phil Gray, with a neat interception, who set up the next good Chiswick attack, and with Max Burrows dashing every which way, the ball was worked out eventually to Millais again, but the home defence won on this occasion. With strong tackling on both sides, kicks were often resorted to, and Burrows’ long kick put Chiswick into the home 22. A period of Chiswick pressure followed, and after the hard-working Sam Hobbins had failed with a dummy, Hallett succeeded, and plunged over under the posts. He slotted the conversion, and half-time arrived with the game finely balanced.
In a frenetic start to the second half, Brighton were held at bay for seven minutes before their fly half failed to score with a drop kick. Chiswick then pressed only to lose the ball and allow Brighton to break with a two man overlap on the left wing. Luckily their wing fell over as he went for a poor pass, and Chiswick recovered.
Deep in the Chiswick half, the next home mistake gave Chiswick a scrum, and fast hands got the ball out to Millais in some space. Pinning his ears back, the wing kept clear of the defence until half way to the line, when he switched to the flying Tom Steer outside him, who got all the way for a fine try. An excellent kick from near the touch-line put Chiswick four points ahead in this roller-coaster of a match.
With Chiswick on a roll, they gained a five metre scrum, from which Leslie-Miller broke with the ball. A multi-phase attack finished with several Chiswick players well over the try line. The referee awarded a try, the bonus point one, and newcomer Rich Stratford was the scorer. Hallett’s kick was good, and the lead was stretched. Brighton responded well, and their fly half produced a neat chip kick, from a position in the Chiswick 22 and left of the posts, which went over one pair of (Chiswick) hands and found the ready grasp of a home player, who touched down under the posts – lead back to four points again. Brighton had most of the possession now, and the Chiswick cause suffered when Millais had to come off.
As the match came to an exciting climax, an ill-advised comment to the referee brought another yellow card for Chiswick as they defended desperately in their 22. To no avail, as Brighton mauled towards the line from a lineout, and scored their fourth try. Crucially, the kick was missed, so the option of a kick for goal was available for Hallett when Brighton were penalised on the stroke of time. The kick was low, but straight. Great match, and definitely the right result.
Chiswick:- Newman, Dibble, McDonough, Allen-Clarke, Hobbins, Gray, Biss, Leslie-Miller, Stratford, Hallett, Millais, Burrows, East, Purkiss, Steer; Chraplewczyk, Darroch, Ware