Chiswick Into Semis After Beating Spirited Hendon

Rugby Result - Chiswick 28 Hendon 5

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This was a Middlesex Bowl match, and a spirited Hendon team, doing well in the second division, obviously hoped to slay the goliath of the first division. It was not to be. On the day the home team had superior fire power in their threequarters, where fly half Keith Luckman, well served by Andy Higgins at scrum half, controlled events well, bringing hard-running centres Dan Coffey and Adrian Lewis into play at pretty well every opportunity.

Poor Nick Pritchard, the home no.8, had to give up early, with a calf injury – depriving a sizeable crowd of his exciting idiosyncratic play. Evergreen Marco Chraplewczyk came on, and soon his initially pristine shirt was as dirty as the others. With a following wind, Chiswick were soon on the attack, and it was not long before Luckman dummied a pass and carved through the Hendon defence for the first try, which he then converted. James Oliver was prominent early in the forwards, as were Alistair Pickering and Tom Adams.

Another slanting run by Luckman almost got him through the Hendon defence, and a good pass out of the tackle gave Coffey the chance to power over from a yard out. Again the conversion was a formality. Lewis got the next home try, quick passing along the line giving him room to go outside the defence. This kick was from wide out on the left, but Luckman slotted a beauty.
The score did not really reflect the play. Hendon tried very hard to get a lot of players into the back line whenever possible, and Chiswick were forced to do a lot of tackling. A couple of knock-ons didn’t help their cause, but eventually the visitors set up an excellent rolling maul from a lineout, and got the ball over the line before subsiding gently. Unfortunately for them the kick failed. Even more unfortunately one of the Hendon forwards got on the wrong side of the referee, so they were down to fourteen for a crucial ten minutes.

With Mark Jones and Jan Joubert on, Chiswick looked rejuvenated, and wing Roman Zakrevsky celebrated with an impressive run around behind his ( new ) full back Ian Walker, following this with a good kick. The Chiswick scrum was very solid, but Hendon still did well at getting possession when the ball went loose. It was a speculative kick by Luckman, straight down the middle from a scrum just in the Hendon half, which produced the final score. Lewis and Jones on the follow-up caused a certain amount of confusion, and the loose ball was collared by the home team, for once. The confusion then intensified as various bodies flung themselves at the Hendon line, and after the whistle had gone for a try the Chiswick players strolled back congratulating the scorer, apparently prop Chris Betts. Luckman added the points.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Pickering E ( Joubert ), Betts, Oliver, Smith, Adams, Pickering A ( Fletcher ), Pritchard ( Chraplewczyk ) , Higgins, Luckman, Zakrevsky, Coffey ( Jones ), Lewis, Hookham, Hammond ( Walker )


March 6, 2007