Rugby Result - Old Abbotstonians 25 Chiswick 14
Special tactics were needed to cope with the conditions, and Chiswick failed to find them. A soggy pitch, with the wind and a low sun in their faces was their prize for losing the toss, and it took three minutes before the first two bad decisions gifted the home side a try. At Chiswick, a grubber kick from a 22 dropout could have worked wonders, but although it was accurate and reached the winger, he lacked support, and his kick, infield instead of into touch, was run back with interest by a number of home players.
It became apparent then that tackling a sidestepping opponent was difficult if your feet were sliding around in the mud, and keeping the ball in hand was necessary, albeit difficult with such a slippery ball. The home fly-half got a good conversion.
A forward pass in the Chiswick 22 was the next sad mistake. The ensuing scrum was gently wheeled by the competent home pack, and their full back came steaming up on the blindside to take a quick pass, go over the line without a defender in sight, and run round under the posts for the try, duly converted. A certain amount of gentle discussion now took place amongst the Chiswick team, and they began to try a little harder.
Not hard enough. A heel against the head preceded a storming run by the Abbotstonians’ flyhalf. Some perceived jiggery-pokery by Chiswick offered the home team another shot at goal. This was accepted, and benefited from. More of the Chiswick team were involving themselves in the essential tackling, but there were a number of woeful kicks upfield into the breeze which were run back with great enthusiasm by Abbotstonians, for whom the scrum-half and full back were both excellent at handling the slimy ball and, together with the inside centre, making a lot of ground.
Desperate defence then held up the home scum-half just short of the line, but a penalty was immediately given, and the kick was a formality. A determined Chiswick attack followed, and the home scrum got pushed back a little. Adrian Lewis took on four defenders, and the ball came back, for once, on the Chiswick side. Prop Stefan Davies took the ball on but had it nicked from his hands. Another attack, but Dan Nicolle lost the ball in the tackle. Another long kick by the home fly half, and Chiswick are forced to put the ball into touch. A long throw to their No.7 at the tail of the lineout, and a home player broke from the maul to romp over the line. No conversion. Euan Smith retrieved the kick-off kick, but the final Chiswick attack foundered on a forward pass.
The second half started with another home try. A Chiswick knock-on; home scrum wheels; ball comes out blind-side; home No.6 uses a stiff arm push to make some room, and full back, winger and fly half combine well to score. Again no conversion. The substitution of Simon Slattery for Lee Miller signalled the beginning of the fight back. A wayward kick by the home full back was gathered by the reliable Lewis Hammond, who gets the call from Slattery and kicks the ball downfield. Slattery, called up only a couple of hours before the kick-off, gets into his stride, gallops past the defending winger, and uses his trusty left boot to propel the ball just over the try line, where he touches down comfortably before taking time out to recover. Keith Luckman slots an excellent conversion.
Abbotstonians came back with a try in the left corner from a tapped penalty, but Chiswick got the final score after a series of mistakes from both sides as the conditions got almost impossible. Adrian Lewis, having given up on getting a good pass from his team-mates, took a beauty from the home full back, in the Chiswick 22, and cruised the length of the field to place the ball under the posts. It was kicked over the bar, and that was that.
Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Campbell, Davies, Chraplewczyk, Smith, Maguire ( Vinden ), Robbings, Nicolle, Walker, Luckman, Miller ( Slattery ), Brown, Jones, Lewis, Hammond
December 4, 2006