Chiswick Take Four Pointer

Rugby Result: Chiswick 34 Old Ashmoleans 6

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Riverside Lands, Dukes Meadows, Chiswick, London W4 2SH

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Crunch time came and went on the beautifully manicured Riverside pitch, with the crowd around the Fullers tent happily queuing in the sunshine at the final whistle. Everyone cheered the Spanish referee, and even the rueful Ashmolean supporters had to admit it had been a great game between two good sides.

The visitors got off to an impressive start, and could have been six points up, but fluffed one of the penalty kicks. When Chiswick attacked, it was livewire prop Stuart Parmeter who put in the first real charge, which led to a penalty: Tom Duffy’s accurate kick fell just under the crossbar. Chiswick kept pressing, and after thirteen minutes a lineout ball to the tail allowed Parmeter to run at the defence, and a smooth inside switch by Duffy to the ever-reliable Lewis Hammond led to the full-back touching down under the posts. Duffy slotted the conversion.

Centre Ben Cheston raised a cheer when, after the dangerous Ashmoleans’ full back tried a typical cross-field sprint, he followed him across and hustled him into touch. After eighteen minutes the referee ruled a Chiswick tackle high and it was fourteen against fifteen. Nothing daunted, the home team raised their game, and a fine passing movement involving Tom Adams and Rowan Tonkin gave Cheston half a chance down the wing. He was stopped illegally, and Duffy’s kick to the corner led to a penalty after another Parmeter charge. Duffy made no mistake, and the lead was seven points.

A long kick up-field by the Ashmoleans’ full back proved disastrous when Hammond counter-attacked and quick recycling found Hansie Bezuidenhout in midfield. He went straight through the defence, and Al Pickering, supporting him inside got the ball out to Adie Lewis for an effortless cruise to the corner and then round towards the posts. Not near enough for the conversion, but a lovely try. Paradoxically, as Chiswick got back to full strength, Ashmoleans started pressurising them, but after several minutes camped near the home line, and after a number of penalties, they failed to cross the line and had to settle for three points as the jubilant Chiswick coach Andy Barrington saluted his team’s magnificent defence. Chiswick came straight back and a high kick by Tom Alcraft was brilliantly recovered by the home captain, John Gibson. A quick dash and an inside pass to diagonally-running Cheston, and the defence was slashed open as the captain got the ball back and sped under the posts for a seven-pointer.

The second half was punctuated with hold-ups for injuries, and the play was a bit scrappy after an early try for Cheston had effectively put the game beyond the reach of the visitors. Efficient lineout work, and Pickering escaped into the midfield where a long pass gave Cheston room to reach escape velocity. He remembered to touch down before the allotments, but Duffy’s great kick came back off the post. A yellow card for the visitors took the steam out of them, and the last home try was fortunate, Chiswick’s pressure coinciding with two Ashmoleans lying groggily on one side of the pitch as Parmeter succeeded in broaching their line. Duffy added the points, and even a second home yellow card could not disturb the Chiswick equilibrium. A determined run by Marc Jones deserved a reward, but the prolific scorer had to be content with a great team contribution on this occasion. Duffy got over the line, but the ball was held up.

Ashmoleans put together some good late moves, a man to the good, but Chiswick showed great heart and determination to keep them out.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson ( Matulick ), Joubert, Parmeter, McConnell, Tonkin, Adams, Pickering ( Robbings ), Bezuidenhout, Alcraft, Duffy, Lewis, Gibson, Cheston ( Luckman ), Jones, Hammond


February 21, 2009