Classy Chiswick Shrug Off Saints
Rugby Result - Chiswick 30 Verulamians 10
Coming to terms with the wind, the whistle and a feisty opposition, took a while for the home side, although they exerted constant pressure for the first ten minutes. Good cover defence kept them out when Ben Cheston looked certain to score in the right corner after a magical break by fly half Keith Luckman.
Aran Delaney and Al Pickering both made determined surges for the Vs line, but their defence remained stubbornly in place. When the score came, it was the luck you get when playing well.
A promising counter-attack by the Vs full back ended abruptly when his pass out caught a solid gust of wind. Cheston, coming in for the tackle got the ball instead, and not pausing to say thank you he streaked over the turf to touch down. Luckman’s unrewarded kick shaved the left upright.
The scrums and lineouts were pretty even, but outside Vs had little to offer in attack. Sam Hood and Brynley Price did well in the lineouts, and soon Chiswick picked up another three points, Luckman’s kick following illegal use of the hands. A careless kick by the Vs full back gave Lewis Hammond a bit of room, and the Chiswick stalwart was ready as always to run the ball. Scrum half Nico Fryer took the ball on in a diagonal run across the centre of the park, and then switched inside to the whispering Welshman, Adie Lewis. Quiet he might be, but when he pins his ears back he can move.
Chris Hallewell, filling in for the snowbound captain Jones on the wing, managed to stay in contact, and duly scorched over for another scintillating trademark Chiswick try. Luckman just had to convert this one, but from ten metres he put it pretty close to the upright.
After some further home excursions, including Delaney sprinting down the touch-line, Verulamians came back and penned Chiswick in their 22 for the last eight minutes of the half. Price picked up a yellow card as the home defence got a bit desperate, and eventually the visitors made their pressure count, their No.6 going over from a metre out on the umpteenth phase. The conversion was good.
Five minutes into the second half, Jan Joubert makes a break from a home lineout, and Kelvin Campbell takes it on and wins a penalty. Luckman’s sweet kick takes Chiswick eleven points clear. The Vs No.8 keeps causing minor problems for the home team with his determined running but the home tackling is far better than in the past, and there is no way through. The whistle keeps going, however, and the visitors slot an easy three points. The last fifteen minutes were all Chiswick, however. Lewis makes a break, takes a good hit but gets the ball to John Gibson. He in turn picks out the reinstated Price, who finds the flyer Cheston in space. Carving hard on his right leg, the Chiswick centre reduces the Vs last defender to a surrendering shrug, and dives over centrally to present Luckman with a doddle of a kick.
The clincher was even classier. Simon Slattery, on for the limping Hammond, took advantage of a brave dive and grab by Graham Robbings, now on the left wing, after Hallewell had been caught on the home 22. Delaney made a break, Fryer got the ball to Luckman, who gave the super sub a decent pass. Slats ran past one, two, three, four, five ( and so on ) would-be tacklers, using his own inimitable hand-off to good effect, before straightening his run down the left touch-line. Pickering called for, and received the ball inside. Sub Ben Maguire was in the right place to carry on the move, and Price took the ball over the line for a breath-taking try. The match fizzled out under a welter of whistles, but the home team was happy. Even the stand-in captain, Shane Donaldson, whose exemplary explanations to his team of the referees decisions was to be admired.
Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Joubert, Campbell ( Davies ), Hood, Delaney, Price, Robbings, Pickering, Fryer, Luckman, Lewis ( Maguire ), Gibson, Cheston, Hallewell, Hammond ( Slattery )