Chiswick Well and Truly Lose Their Way
Rugby Result: Chiswick 8 Old Alleynians 22
Chiswick well and truly lost their way in this EDF Senior Vase match, a rerun of last season’s meeting in the Junior Vase. The rain and the resultant slippery pitch was an excuse, but it was the “elves” (this season’s gremlins) that undermined the team. The referee seemed to spend a lot of time blowing his whistle, perhaps to explain the extended law variations, but it was the home team who seemed more at sea, and their cause was not helped by missing a centre-of-the-line jumper.
Chiswick started brightly, and were soon ahead when fly half Tom Duffy stroked a penalty over the bar. Duffy soon had a kick bounce back off an opponent, the first of several such, and then a promising move ended when Ben Cheston broke, and with an overlap on the outside a try looked almost certain. His pass just touched the Alleynians’ defender and deflected out of the reach of the Chiswick players. Simon Crabtree on the Chiswick left wing began to have one of those days, a hopeful cross kick by the Alleynians’ No.8 squirming out of his grasp near the home line. John Gibson got in a crucial tackle as the ball was spun along the line from the ensuing scrum, but a penalty was awarded, and that was 3-3.
The new Chiswick prop Stuart Parmeter proved his versatility with a good diagonal kick over the visitors’ wing’s head. Cheston put in a great tackle to achieve a turnover, but the advantage was handed straight back by a hasty move. Hooker Jan Joubert was in the thick of things and with Al Pickering in his usual rumbustious move the home pack was coping well. Full back Lewis Hammond featured next, coping superbly with a wicked bounce and a neck tackle after he had outpaced the attackers in pursuit of a probing long kick. The try when it came was a typical Chiswick try. Mark Jones just intercepted a kick that looked destined for the home 22, and slipped it inside, under pressure, to Marcus Rowley. The No.8 cut diagonally across the pitch to link up with Hammond, who put Gibson in for a well-clapped try. Duffy’s kick was not aimed left enough to cope with the cross-field gusts.
Things then started to go wrong. An excellent penalty kick to touch was wasted when Alleynians took the lineout ball very comfortably. Aran Delaney did secure the ball at the front of the next home lineout, but Rowley managed to leave the ball behind as the home threes poured forward. Chiswick then got the first of two yellow cards, ( Alleynians in turn had one ). Duffy just missed with another penalty kick. Chiswick’s failure to win lineout ball was giving the visitors more confidence, as their kicks for touch were often rewarded with further possession.
Just before Chiswick were back to full strength, Alleynians struck. A penalty for offside gave them a lineout about ten metres from the home line. A gap appeared in front of the catcher, who nearly made it to the line before passing to the no.4, who made an easy touchdown. The conversion followed, and the visitors were in the lead.
Alex Matulick did a good dispossession job in the lineout, but a great break by Cheston went unrewarded, even though he got the ball out to Jones in the visitors’ 22. The Alleynians defence seemed very confident now, although the home attacks were quick and fierce. Eventually, after much pressure, Pickering made a break for the line, only for his pass to Crabtree to bounce off the latter’s hands. Shades of Cheston’s nervy debut, when the ball just would not stick! Breaks by Matulick and Pickering came to naught before another home lineout in the visitors’ 22 was wasted. Twice good home breaks led to blind back passes straight into the oppositions’ hands, and then Rowley repeated his leave-the-ball behind routine. Cheston’s next break seemed to lead to a try, the ball reaching Duffy via new No.4 Dave McConnell, working usefully in the loose. The ball was adjudged held up, however, as Duffy plunged over the line. From the ensuing scrum, the same unfortunate player knocked on as he dived over the line.
Alleynians rubbed salt into the wounds with two late opportunist tries, the first from a heel against the head in the home 22, the visitors’ fly half racing through a big gap in the home defence, and the second from a quickly taken tap penalty. The final score was a travesty, but it must be said that Alleynians took their chances and defended well throughout whilst playing simple basic rugby.
Chiswick team :- Matulick ( Donaldson ), Joubert ( Davies ), Parmeter, McConnell, Delaney, Pickering, Fletcher ( Adams ), Rowley, Ulstein, Duffy, Crabtree, Gibson, Cheston, Jones, Hammond
September 9, 2008