Blend of Champagne Rugby and Determined Defence

Rugby result: Chiswick 47 Barnet Elizabethans 12

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In a blend of champagne rugby and determined defence, Chiswick gave their supporters a feast as they saw off the challenge of a Barnet team which was very strong at set pieces, but no match for the home team in open play. Barnet were blown away by the Barrington brand of play, which also saw the second team into the final of their Merit League playoffs.
Playing with a backing gale force wind, Chiswick soon had Barnet rattled, and after Duffy’s first penalty effort from fifty yards had fallen just short, he slotted the next, shorter one, easily.

The lively wing Lee Miller had already made his mark with a charge down and the home team was buzzing. They managed to take a scrum in the Barnet half ( a rare occurrence throughout the match ), and after a typical burst by Hansie ( Bez ) Bezuidenhout, Aram Delaney picked up the loose ball and headed for the corner flag. Scrum half John Feltham came screaming up on the inside in support, and the pass was perfection - Bollinger tradition . Duffy stroked the conversion.

Rory Fletcher was dealing well with the high Barnet kick-offs, and when the visitors did manage a break in midfield, disaster struck for them. The pass to the supporting player went astray and was retrieved by the predatory Ben Cheston, who was off like a scalded cat. Duffy, who had a blinder, was up in a flash outside him, and switched the ball back inside for Lewis Hammond to touch down under the posts – Moet et Chandon. Duffy was momentarily hurt, and Hammond slotted the conversion. Minutes later Chiswick were almost undone, as they contrived to have all forwards defending one side of the pitch. Bez managed a crucial tackle on the home 22 line to avert the danger. Another couple of minutes and Miller took a quick throw to Cheston in the home half. Cheston almost wriggled clear before giving the ball back to the wing, who had the legs to keep clear of the chasing players all the way to the line – Dom Perignon. Duffy couldn’t manage this one, but 22 points after 17 minutes was explosive stuff.

Chiswick nearly shot themselves in the leg as the confidence surged, the referee seeing a crossing in the next blistering break from the home 22. The kick looked very good, but was hurled sideways by the wind just before reaching the posts, and Chiswick were reprieved. For ten minutes the Barnet defence looked solid, and then Duffy got another successful kick. With 40 minutes played, after sustained pressure, Chiswick took another three points. Barnet came back, and looked odds on to score with Chiswick having a scrum five. Bez worked wonders even to pick up the ball as the home scrum went backwards. He did even better to make a few yards with it. Further Barnet pressure, but Jan Joubert kept blocking their attempted blind-side moves and then, in injury time, came the Krug moment. Bez snatched a loose ball behind the Barnet scrum, and was off. Duffy flew after him, and took the pass to score under the posts –Veuve Clicquot . He added the points and the whistle went for half-time.

With a black cloud behind them, Barnet started strongly, and soon scored a rather soft try, when a Chiswick clearance kick was deflected to the quick Barnet wing. The kick failed, but Barnet were on a run, and a beautiful kick put them close to the home line. Chiswick got the ball back from the throw, but it was loose on the ground, and the referee correctly identified the first fingers to reach the ball as Barnet ones. An excellent conversion followed, and things got a bit tenser for Chiswick. Luckily, Barnet were having occasional problems behind what seemed a rock-steady scrum, and Feltham took advantage to snaffle the ball and put Duffy in for a crucial try – Roederer Cristal, which he converted.

Chiswick kept tackling like demons as Barnet tried hard to make the score more respectable, with Dave McConnell and Graham Robbings both imitating Joe Worsley in their endeavours. When the siege was finally broken, it was Duffy again who made the break, and Cheston who finished the move with a try in the left corner – Laurent Perrier . A couple more minutes and it was all over. Consecutive promotions, and all the hard work pays off. Congratulations to Chiswick Rugby Club.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson ( Matulick ), Joubert, Tonkin ( Chraplwczyk ), Delaney, McConnell, Fletcher, Robbings, Bezuidenhout, Feltham, Duffy, Miller, Gibson, Cheston, Townsend ( McLean ), Hammond

March 30, 2009