Chiswick end on a high

Rugby Result - Chiswick 30 Old Merchant Taylor's 20


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With promotion still a possibility going into this final league game Chiswick were determined to give themselves every opportunity and hope that U.C.S. Old Boys would slip on the same banana skin, which is Old Grammarians away, as Chiswick had done earlier in the season.

Chiswick were forced to field a new look front 5 due to injury and unavailability,
Matt Vinden and Euan Smith formed a make shift second row and Chris Betts moved from prop to hooker. This untried front 5 performed superbly well and matched their
bulkier opponents allowing a good platform for Chiswick’s electric back row and hard running back line to cause problems for OMT’s in defence and attack.

However OMT’s scored first against the run of play, a grubber kick from their fly half
Was miss fielded allowing their supporting number 8 to pounce on the loose ball over the line. Chiswick responded with a penalty goal soon after and then a superb midfield break from centre Marc Jones had the OMT’s defence in disarray and a neat off load to supporting number 8 Nick Pritchard saw him glide in under the posts, Luckman added the conversion. OMT’s dominated possession for the last 5 minutes of the half and were rewarded with a try in the corner after a tidy backs move from a 22 meter scrum, the successful conversion brought the half time whistle.

Chiswick had the wind at their backs in the second half and used it to good effect. The next score came after some solid tacking from the forwards resulted in a quick turn over just outside the Chiswick 22. The ball was spun wide to winger Simon Slattery who found himself with space, when the cover got to him he grubber kicked down the line and collected his own kick. Tackled by the OMT full back he off-loaded to Jones who was stopped just short of the line but he too managed to offload to supporting fly-half Keith Luckman. Luckman touched down under the posts and converted his own try. Chiswick lead 17-12 with 20 minutes to play.

OMT’s camped on the Chiswick line, but the home defence held firm until the award of a penalty on the 5 metre line gave OMT’s the chance to kick for the corner and rumble over for a push-over try. An all too familiar way of conceding points for the home team!

The sides then swapped penalties taking the score to 20 points each. The final try came with 10 minutes to play, a Chiswick scrum just outside the OMT’s 22 began to wheel, under pressure scrum-half Will Ulstein threw a hurried pass out which rolled passed Luckman at stand off. With any planned move looking doomed, centre Jones came from nowhere to scoop the ball from around his ankles and hare through a gap in the confused defence, he scored under the posts to make the conversion a formality and put the game out of the oppositions reach.

OMTs refused to give up and spent a good deal of the remaining time once more camped in the home 22. However, home defence held firm and when man of the match Graham Robbings put in a crunching tackle the resulting turnover ball was hoofed deep into OMT territory by the unorthodox boot of second row forward Vinden. With pressure alleviated the home side played out the remaining minutes in the oppositions half and welcomed the final whistle.

The end of the match brought the end of the most successful season in the clubs recent history. It was a shame that Old Grammarians did not even take to the field against U.C.S. to give Chiswick the unlikely promotion result they were hoping for. Regardless of this, third place in the league and finalists in the Middlesex Bowl competition signify the turn around in the clubs fortunes that has been building over the last few seasons.

Team; Campbell, Betts, Donaldson, Vinden, Smith (Hill), Maguire, Pritchard, Robbings, Ulstein, Luckman, Slattery, Hinze, Jones, Miller, Hammond


February 27, 2006