Chiswick pipped at the post by solid visitors
Rugby Result - Chiswick 20 Old Ashmoleans 22
This was yet another game shaded by Chiswick for a large part, but ultimately lost. With key players injured, excuses could be made, but in truth several of the home team played out of their socks, and should not have been on the losing side. The others all tried hard, but couldn’t quite put together enough sustained pressure to win against a solid, hard-working Ashmoleans team, who are riding high in the league. They did make some mistakes, however, and could have been punished more often.
The visitors came out running, and a slightly lethargic home team suffered an early turnover, followed by a concerted raid on the home line which led to an unconverted try. Chiswick hit back, and with the scrum more secure than in previous matches, Sam Brown, at fly half, Lewis Hammond at full back and John Gibson at inside centre were able to put in some sizzling runs. These three also defended well against some determined breaks by the Ashmoleans’ backs. It was the Chiswick Express Adrian Lewis on the right wing, however, who set up the first home try. Brown and Lewis were involved early on, and then Lewis took some tackles and set up a maul, from which the ball was released to scrum half Ian Walker, who darted round the blind side to score near the posts. With Keith Luckman out injured, Walker attempted, and succeeded with the conversion.
An Ashmoleans breakdown in midfield was then seized upon by Chiswick. Gibson got the ball back to No.8 Dan Nicolle. He made ten yards before going to ground. Marco Chraplewczyk was on hand to feed prop Stefan Davies. His cross-field burst was followed up by Hammond, who gave a long pass to winger Lewis. Lewis outpaced the defence, and scored near the posts. Unfortunately the conversion attempt was poor.
Deep into injury time, things started to go wrong for Chiswick. Fisticuffs led to a forward from each team being sin-binned, but play continued for some minutes before Ashmoleans took advantage of a scrum on the down slope to release a player on the blind side to score. The whistle followed the poor conversion attempt.
Chiswick got another try early in the second half, when Mark Jones was given a long pass in space. Linking well with Hammond, he put Gibson away for a spectacular try, which was not converted. A good jinking run by lock Rob Tillen nearly led to another score for the home team, but Ashmoleans began to dominate territorially, and some subtle footwork by Hammond was necessary to get out of a sticky position. The Chiswick defence was finally undone when their line was broken by a searing run by the opponents’ No.8. The conversion was successful, and the match up for grabs at 17-17.
Chiswick grabbed the lead again when Walker got a simple penalty kick in front of the posts. Unfortunately they got pinned in their 22, and a neat half-wheeled scrum gave their back row just enough room to break from the scrum and roll over the line. A good home performance, but not quite good enough.
Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Nichols, Davies, Tillen, Chraplewczyk, Maguire ( Barrington ), Robbings, Nicolle, Walker, Brown, Miller, Gibson, Jones, Lewis, Hammond
November 27, 2006