Some Bright Intervals For Second Place Chiswick
Rugby Result: Chiswick 37 Datchworth 15
With five teams (at least) in contention at the top of London 4 NW, second-placed Chiswick could not afford to be careless against a hard-working but uninspired Datchworth team. In the event they were solid in the set pieces, and devastating on a few occasions, especially early on, in the loose.
Tom Duffy, playing inside centre, slotted an early penalty for the home team but Chiswick were a bit tentative at this stage, and Datchworth had some good chances.
They were limited to a penalty, however, by some determined defence. Alistair Pickering was proving a good target at the tail of the lineouts, and he and Tom Adams linked to create the first serious break for the home team. Lewis Hammond dealt with an early barrage of high kicks from the opposing fly half in his usual competent way.
Scrum half Tom Alcraft kicked the first few balls he received, but when he decided to open out, the Chiswick backs responded brilliantly. The ball travelled via Keith Luckman and Ben Cheston to Hammond, whose step inside ripped the defence to pieces, allowing Adie Lewis to put Cheston through for a showpiece try, converted by Duffy.
A mid-field turnover led to the next try, Duffy giving Lewis room to run at a defence that kept pushing the winger infield. Accepting the inevitable, Lewis headed for the posts, and almost made it, as did Alex Matulick seconds later. It was Alcraft however, eventually, whose strength and height allowed him to stretch over the line. Duffy added the points. The same player then just shaved the post with a kick from the halfway line. Smart handling by the home backs, after a crunching Cheston tackle produced a turnover, gave prop Stuart Parmeter a chance to show his prowess, and a swerving, sidestepping run took him over the line for a popular try. The kick failed. Occasional Datchworth attacks were halted by solid mid-field tackling, as Chiswick maintained their ascendancy. Magical work by Cheston then produced a pass to Luckman who cruised over for a try in the corner. Duffy’s attempt was good, but no good.
The second half was just under way when a smooth lineout take by Rowan Tonkin ( one of many ), and a diagonal run by Duffy led to a try in the corner by Hammond. Duffy’s kick was just pulled left. Graham Robbings, suffering from a shoulder knock gained early in the match, was eventually replaced, after Cheston, with a bloodied nose had left the stage, and as the rain increased, Datchworth began to come back into the game. A sustained period of pressure by the visitors eventually led to a try by their fly half, after a slick loop move. This was converted, and the Datchworth heads were up, with twenty minutes to go. Nico Fryer came on for Alcraft, and was immediately everywhere. The quality of play deteriorated with the wet ball bouncing off players’ hands, but the Datchworth left wing made a great break, leading to another, unconverted try.
Chiswick had to dig in, and did. A deflection at the tail of a lineout suddenly provided Pickering with an unforeseen opening, and he is not slow on the uptake. Trailing clinging hands he charged downfield, got the ball to Adams, who found the predatory Fryer. Drawing the defence, the scrum half put the ball back into the hands of the supporting Pickering for a very well deserved try. Duffy’s sights were still slightly off-centre for the conversion, but it was a better attempt than his final one, from in front of the posts.
Chiswick team :- Matulick, Nichols, Parmeter, Delaney, Tonkin, Adams, Robbings (Riordan), Pickering, Alcraft (Fryer), Luckman, Coffey, Duffy, Cheston (Hurren), Lewis, Hammond
November 11, 2008