Chiswick Drive Dampened But Not Extinguished
Rugby Result - Teddington 9 Chiswick 17
A wet slippery ball and a small sloping pitch with a strong crosswind was not what the doctor ordered for the Chiswick backs, who struggled to find any sort of rhythm. The visiting forwards, however, revelled in the conditions, and had a ding-dong all through with a determined Teddington eight, who only wilted at the very end, when reduced to a six-pack.
The referee stamped his authority early, with offside decisions, and after the home team had gone three points up, Keith Luckman slotted one for the visitors. Scrum half Tom Alcraft made a couple of early breaks, but slipped, and then the Chiswick forwards forced their way to the home line. Jan Joubert and Steff Davies were in turn brought down just short of the home line, and when the ball was finally opened out, Teddington were caught offside. Luckman produced another good kick and Chiswick were ahead. Teddington, however, were soon back level with another penalty after mauling a good distance downhill.
Davies put on a prop show at this point, catching a clearance kick and sprinting down the left touchline, dummying a pass to the other prop, and a couple of phases later making a charge for the line. Unfortunately he then got penalised for holding on, and normal play resumed. Lock Aran Delaney was prominent in the loose for Chiswick, as were the back row duo Ali Pickering and Hansie Bez. Tom Adams, nursing his elbow had been replaced by the effervescent Graham Robbings, with his sleeves rolled up. A penalty for not rolling away gave Luckman another, difficult, chance but he gauged the wind expertly to put Chiswick ahead again before half-time.
Both teams were efficient in the lineouts, with Sam Hood making numerous clean catches for Chiswick. Chiswick had more possession but were thwarted by a combination of desperate defence and the conditions. Alcraft then had a moment: he was about to attempt a high clearance kick when a Teddington player charged in. The ball hardly left his hands when it was back in them, and he did well to react, and get the ball into touch on the second attempt. The referee then saw yellow at an attempt by one of the Chiswick props to pick the ball up after a tackle, and Teddington, kicking the penalty, were back level on points and one up on players. Although the kick-off was a bit of a fiasco, Chiswick now began to exert real pressure as the pride factor kicked in. An incredibly clean Gavin Nichols came on temporarily at prop and immediately made an A-class pickup from a kick through by centre Ben Cheston, who had had sixty minutes of tackling at this stage.
A minute later the teams were level on players and Chiswick were three points up after a home prop was sent to the sin bin. Pickering made an excellent charge down to put play up by the home line. Teddington then lost another player to the dreaded yellow card, and Chiswick piled on the pressure. Joubert hurtled towards the line, but fell just short. Chiswick retained possession and kept moving forward before collapsing over the line. Bezuidenhout ( Bez ) emerged darkly from the failing light, giving a friendly hug to both the Chiswick props as the referees hand went up for the try. The failed kick didn’t matter. Chiswick were into the sixth round of the E.D.F Junior Vase, and may now face a trip to the West Country as the regions converge.
Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Joubert, Davies ( Campbell ), Hood, Delaney, Adams ( Robbings ), Pickering, Bezuidenhout, Alcraft, Luckman, Lewis, Milak ( Gibson ), Cheston, Jones, Hammond
December 11, 2007