Kiwi Cancellation Affords Chance For Local Derby

Rugby result :- Chiswick 24 Hammersmith Reserves 15

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As a result of some strange Kiwi Festival, London New Zealand cried off, so the Chiswick team had a chance to practice some of their moves, and maintain their fitness levels against a very useful Hammersmith Reserve team. Hansie Bezuidenhout was straight into the action, charging forward and chesting the kick-off far upfield. Hammersmith started brightly and retained possession for most of the first ten minutes, as Chiswick eased into the game.

The home backs had to deal with some determined running, especially down their right flank, the lively visiting winger proving a bit of a handful. Meanwhile the forwards were beginning to exert some pressure, with Jan Joubert, Bez and Stuart Parmeter bullocking around in the loose. Maintaining possession was a problem, however, for the home team, with a number of turnovers after the tackle.

Almost the first excursion into the Hammersmith 22, after twenty minutes, produced a try, with slick lineout work followed by a well-controlled maul, Parmeter coming off the back to crunch over the line. Keith Luckman’s kick, into a strong breeze, and from the touchline, crept miraculously over the bar. With Luca Vannini and Chris Halliwell working hard to create an opening, Josh Hunter, on his debut made a good run down the left wing, rode a tackle and slipped the ball neatly out to John Gibson. He linked with Halliwell, who found Ban Kelly up in support. Kelly’s inside pass was, unfortunately, intercepted cleverly by the covering Hammersmith wing.

Chiswick maintained the pressure, and it was Cheston, beginning to show flashes of his pre-injury form, who found an excellent ( Flood?, or Ashton?) line close to the pack, to streak under the posts. Luckman added the points. Hammersmith continued to look dangerous when they spread the ball wide, and Chiswick needed some luck in defence. When the Hammersmith score came, however, it was from a high-speed maul, with which Chiswick completely failed to cope. The kick failed. The home scrum was reasonably solid, and with Parmeter throwing in well and Rowan Tonkin being hoisted high at the tail of the line, Chiswick had plenty of possession, but the visitors’ defence was good. It was a wriggling run by Parmeter that unpicked the lock, with quick release allowing Cheston to draw a defender and give Adie Lewis an easy run to the line. Luckman’s kick slid past the right post.

Chiswick started the second half well, a Luckman kick to the corner producing a Chiswick lineout. Tonkin got the ball to Chris Morris, who surged towards the line. Tonkin got the ball again and gave Parmeter the chance to show his paces into the corner. The tee failed to materialise ( the excuse being that a green tee is difficult to spot against green grass! ), and Luckman’s kick hooked as wildly like one of my drives.

It was all downhill for Chiswick from then on, as the Hammersmith players all seemed determined to prove their ability to play for the League leaders’ first team. A mazy run through most of the home defence by their No.14 culminated in a try in the left corner, with the two Chiswick wingers in close attendance, but not within touching range. The kick failed, but the Hammersmith pressure increased, and they gained a deserved late five points, after Cheston had managed to hold the ball up over the line to save an earlier effort. One really good thing for Chiswick was the sight of Al Pickering on the touchline without crutches. His ripping ability has been sorely missed, together with his huge enthusiasm for the game.

Chiswick team: - Addison, Parmeter (Bartholomew), Joubert, Pickering, Tonkin, Morris, Kelly, Bezuidenhout, Vannini, Luckman, Lewis, Halliwell, Gibson, Hunter, Cheston.

February 7, 2011