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Sports in Chiswick

Old Meadonians

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Visitors to Riverside Lands for this London Old Boys Cup game on Saturday, Old Hamptonians, came with the memories of being pipped on the post by Old Meadonians in the league last season and being made to look like bystanders in the final of the preseason Greenland Cup final two months ago too fresh for them to provide a calculated riposte.

Although they showed themselves perfectly capable of mounting a legitimate challenge to the cup-holders, in the face of their hosts’ resolution, they forgot their manners and chose an alternative route, culminating in their being taught a lesson in coolness and how to win at a trot. In the end the placatory referee saved Hamptonians from losing at least one player before half time, by booking just one of the main culprits.

In the knowledge that the visitors would be ‘up for it’ Meads had been well primed by coach Paul Rumley and manager Rory Vermeulen, were fast out of the blocks and gave the visitors a testing twenty minutes. Strikers and brothers in arms (but not related) Leon and Kevin Smith, the latter up from the second team, were soon probing, prompted by skipper Jack Costello and pace of wingbacks Dwayne Rhone and Ed Glover.

On five minutes midfielder Will Gerrish cut in from the left but clever positional play by Hampton’s keeper James Holdsworth covered the angles and he saved well. Meads got the break through on fifteen minutes when a clearance from Brian Hanley found Leon Smith on the left. He drew two defenders to him then neatly bisected them to give Costello the chance to score off the far post. Despite having the advantage of the low sun, Hamptons’ aspirations rarely extended beyond midfield as Meads’ in form back three Dan Salanson, Brian Hanley and Alastair McCombe kept a tight rein and were ultimately named joint MoM. Shortly before half time there was a bizarre blip when Sweeper Salanson, faced by two opponents, was left to his own devices thirty yards out. Even though he gave the ball away the goal remained in tact, which said something for the visitors’ ability to prosper.

With the sun in their favour the hosts were able more and more to coast until with twenty minutes to go Glover ghosted in from the left and beat the defence to a Leon Smith cross and head the second. Even then there might have been a mini avalanche as first Leon Smith’s pace took him through only to be forced too wide to trouble Holdsworth and then Kevin Smith forced his way past traffic and was just too high.

Team: Sayers, Salanson, Hanley, McCombe, Glover, (D. Gerrish ), Costello, Hugh Jones, W. Gerrish, Rhone, K. Smith, L. Smith.

November 7, 2006