League Leaders Chiswick Pushed To The End

Rugby Result: Datchworth 7 Chiswick 21

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A determined Datchworth team pushed the league leaders all the way on a day for unambitious rugby. A solid pack with an excellent hooker and a fast strong No.8 gave the Chiswick pack a hard afternoon, but they survived thanks to huge efforts by all, with Al Pickering, Stuart Parmeter and Aram Delaney in particular catching the eye, although it was truly a team effort.

Early pressure by the home team, with the wind and the slope in their favour forced Chiswick on to the defence, and prop Parmeter did well to charge down a dangerous chip kick by the home fly half, the rest of the team charging up with him to disrupt the attack. Ben Cheston, Pickering, Parmeter, Al Pickering and Tom Duffy were involved in the first sustained Chiswick attack, and Keith Luckman, with a sudden change of direction got almost to the home line. Tackled and on the ground he laid the ball back in text book fashion only for a home forward to lift it from his grasp and clear.

Newcomer Peter Townsend did some good cover defence work on the left wing early on, the home threes being strong and purposeful, if generally uninspired. Datchworth had a good chance to go ahead, but their kicker scuffed a penalty chance from in front of the posts. Chiswick’s luck held, and after a sustained attack up the left wing the ball went loose behind the home forwards: Pickering picked up brilliantly and forced his way over in the corner. Even Duffy, whose kicking has been superb recently, could do nothing against the wind, from the touchline.

Chiswick held out almost to half time, with some good attacking of their own, but after one home attack had fallen foul of a marginal forward pass, some clever footwork by the home right wing induced a foul by Chiswick, and quick handling, including a blatant forward pass, led to a home try by the wing, which was well converted.

Chiswick, with the wind, were generally in control in the second half, but the home team remained defiant, and there was no easy route to the home line. Cheston made a number of half breaks, but quick breakdown ball was almost non-existent. Duffy put Chiswick ahead with a good long penalty kick, and then Townsend made a devastating break through the home forwards. This time quick ball was achieved, and Lewis Hammond put Cheston away into space.

The speedster made it to the corner, the angle being just too much for Duffy to add the points.
A hectic passage of play followed, with attack and counter-attack allowed to take place whilst a home forward was being attended to on the pitch. In the middle of this, Adie Lewis tried to chip the opposing wing, only to have the ball plucked out of the air to provide a great opportunity to the home team, which they spurned. Another home attack looked promising, but Tom Alcraft caught the home wing and bundled him into touch. The Chiswick catching was almost exemplary throughout the match, and Jan Joubert showed exactly how to do it before Steffan Davies, Parmeter and another, unidentified Chiswick player all went for the same ball, causing two home-fire injuries. John Gibson almost got through with a sizzling run before Duffy slotted a good penalty.

Still Datchworth came hard at Chiswick, but when they spread the ball out to the right wing, Townsend got in a good tackle, the ball went forward and was hacked through by Chiswick. Townsend managed to pick the ball up, stumbled, regained his balance somehow, and outstripped the defence to score the setting try. Duffy got over from a lineout, but the try was disallowed, and at last the final whistle sounded.

Chiswick team :- Matulick ( Davies ), Joubert, Parmeter, Delaney, Tonkin, McConnell, Robbings, Pickering ( Adams ), Luckman ( Alcraft ), Duffy, Townsend, Gibson, Cheston, Lewis, Hammond

January 21, 2009