Rugby Result : Chiswick 7 Hemel Hempstead 10
18 months ago, a last minute conversion gave Chiswick a one-point victory over Hemel and doomed them to relegation. Revenge was probably satisfying, but as a spectacle the match was not.
Defences were on top throughout, apart from the two tries, Hemel’s being a classical full-back in the line one, ripping the home defence apart, and Chiswick’s a well-contrived kick into the corner for the speedsters to chase.
Sam Brown, at fly half for Chiswick, started slowly, and the home team were not convincing in a hesitant start, whist Hemel, well-supported by a vocal young group, looked confident. None the less, a long pass out by inside centre Dan Coffey to the wing almost produced a try, centre Mark Jones being brought down just short of the line.The visitors mounted some good attacks, with their scrumhalf and No.8 both prominent, but the home defence was solid.
Chiswick were unlucky after the referee had played a good advantage, the final pass being forward as the home forwards attacked the line. Lewis Hammond just missed the resulting penalty kick for Chiswick. Euan Smith nearly got a good interception as Hemel tried to exploit the speed of their outside centre, who was causing some problems for the home side. The next Hemel attack saw the fullback into the line and feeding a scoring pass out to this centre. The conversion was a formality.
The rucks looked dangerous places to be, and it was the new Chiswick prop, Steffan Davies who picked up a yellow card as the referee spotted this particular offence. Luckily there was only one more scrum before half time for the makeshift home pack to face.
Hemel started the second half brightly, and on the third attempt their fly half kicked a fairly simple penalty. Chiswick made a lot of silly mistakes, but still defended well. A bad throw-in by Hemel then put Chiswick back in the game. Rory Fletcher at open-side flanker took the throw at the tail of the line, and Brown cleverly kicked diagonally for the far corner.
With the Chiswick threes up in defence, Jones and the sparkling new wing Ben Edgson had a brief debate as to who should take the honour, the larger Jones winning the toss, so to speak. Hammond converted. This proved to be the final score, as Hemel kept the home team pinned in their own half for most of the rest of the half, and Chiswick, although having some chances of their own, did well to prevent further scores. Scum-half Will Ulstein was splendid in the defence, but counter-attacking was made difficult by the inability to get enough players behind the ball.
Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Nichols, Davies ( Campbell ), Nicolle, Smith ( Pickering E ), Maguire, Fletcher, Pickering A, Ulstein, Brown, Miller, Coffey, Jones, Edgson ( Slattery ), Hammond
October 5, 2006