Chiswick into bowl final

Rugby Result - Chiswick 20 Hnourable Artillery Company 0


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A bitterly cold and windy day favoured neither side in this Middlesex Bowl semi-final. Kicks swirled around before hitting a frozen hand and rebounding, legs refused to accelerate, and lineout throw-ins were seldom remotely straight. The end result, a full-blooded mess of a match.

Early on the referee managed to get in between the Chiswick half backs, and thereafter he was intimately involved as the forwards decided they could sort this match out between them. The packs were fairly evenly matched, with Chiswick shading the scrums. The home backs, led dynamically by scrum half Glen Ambrose, were much more constructive, given a sniff of a chance, and eventually Chiswick went three points up, courtesy of a penalty kick by fly half Keith Luckman. This resulted from full back Ben Wassell coming into the line, and flanker Alistair Pickering and the Chiswick centres forming a maul after Wassell was tackled. Just before half time, HAC mounted a serious assault in the corner, but the home team survived, with Ambrose putting in the final clearance kick well downfield.

The first scrum of the second half led to a crucial score, as a neat chip by Luckman bounced diabolically, and Graham Robbings, following up fast, got the ball to Alistair Pickering, who raced everyone to the left corner. The kick failed, but HAC heads began to drop, Chiswick having got this score with a forward in the sin bin. Soon another excellent kick by Ambrose, after the Chiswick mid-field achieved a turnover, went into touch in the visitors’ 22. Captain Ben Maguire nicked the throw-in, the forwards produced a good maul, and after a couple of abortive pushes for the line, Luckman got the ball out to Wassell, who put Lee Miller in for a try in the corner. The kick again failed.

One of the best home moves was scuppered at the last hurdle, when lock Marko Chraplewczyk, humming elusively down the left wing, couldn’t quite hold Miller’s pass out to him. Towards the end, substitute Adrian Pitman, saint and sinner, came into his own, first rescuing a good chip through by the HAC fly half, and then scoring a try after a sustained Chiswick attack, the final pass coming from Ambrose. In between, an attempted drop goal kick by Luckman had come back off the post, but the final conversion kick was successful, and the home team could be well satisfied with the result. Robbings had a good first shot at inside centre, and substitute Mark Hookham was impressive on the wing.

Chiswick team :- Betts, Pickering E, Campbell, Williams ( Hill ), Chraplewczyk, Maguire, Pickering A, Pritchard ( Pitman ), Ambrose, Luckman, Miller, Robbings, Lovell, Zakrevsky ( Hookham ), Wassell

February 27, 2006