Chiswick Stifled by Lively Hemel

Rugby Result : Hemel Hempstead 32 Chiswick 15

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On a spring-like day, which should have suited them, Chiswick were worn down, and finally out-played by a lively Hemel team, who kept their foot on the gas for seventy five minutes.

Chiswick started as if to exact revenge for their one point home defeat by Hemel. Sam Hood, Jon Joyce and Rikki Darroch were all involved in an attack which ended with a successful penalty kick by Keith Luckman, after Sam Biss had got close to the line. Chiswick had first tried a quick tap, and Darroch had gone over the line, only for the referee to call them back.

Joyce did well to hang on to the restart kick under a three-man assault, and Luckman then did well to eschew a kick in favour of setting Josh Noble free in some space. Noble made mincemeat of the nearest Hemel men, and then chipped neatly over the others. The ball did not bounce kindly for him, but went straight into the hands of hooker Biss on the follow-up, and he zoomed in under the posts, giving Luckman an easier kick than the first. 10-0 after 4 minutes. Chiswick kept attacking, but had their first set-back when losing their own lineout, where Hood was, most unusually, beaten to the ( accurate ) throw by the excellent Hemel No.8. Their second, more serious setback occurred after a scintillating run by captain John Gibson, who released Adie Lewis on a run to the left corner. As Lewis plunged over for the try, the referee, claiming, apparently that he wasn’t quite sure about it, as the corner flag had been hit by something at about the same time, disallowed it.

Chiswick lost a bit more momentum when Luckman just failed with a kick after a high tackle brought an attack to a halt well into the home 22. The Hemel back row were increasingly successful in their attempts to disrupt the flow of balls from the Chiswick scrums, and then Chiswick were lucky that an unspotted forward pass did not bring greater reward for the home team. Luckily, Gibson was on hand to sort things out. Hemel then gained a penalty, and mauled well from the ensuing lineout. A player broke from the maul and raced for the corner. He dived over, apparently touching down on the sideline ( your reporter was very close ). The referee, a little further away, saw no reason, on this occasion, not to award the try. The kick failed. Hemel threw away a good chance, being penalised for feeding, on a rare excursion into the Chiswick 22. However, they produced another good maul which led to another unconverted try just before the interval. Right on the whistle, Lowe gave Lewis a pass near the line, but his grubber kick went astray and the chance had gone.

Chiswick were under pressure from the kick-off, as Hemel stormed downfield and downwind, and a knock-on, followed by an inability to stop a run by the Hemel No.5, led to a converted try by the home team. Jon Joyce had to retire injured, and then an injury to Gibson led to a reorganisation of the Chiswick backs. With the forced changes, and a couple of other niggles being just about coped with, the ball was very much in the home court. They had a successful penalty kick, and kept up the pressure with good long touch kicks. Some ineffectual tackling allowed the lively Hemel left winger to get an inside pass away as he was driven into touch, and that was another home try, which was well converted.

The next home attack led to their winger apparently hitting the flag as he went over the try line, and the referee did not award a try. Luckman, no doubt still smarting from last week’s charge down, then produced an excellent drop-out, caught cleanly by sub Brinley Price, who combined well with sub Ben Catliff before a forward pass halted the move. Chiswick’s handling got more urgent, but a spate of injuries didn’t help the minor revival. A knock-on gave Hemel a good field position, which they exploited with some careful passing, their No.12 finally scoring near the corner, the kick failing. With Chiswick finally reduced by injuries to fourteen, they produced their best move of the match, with Lewis, Darroch, Lowe, Luckman, Noble, Price, and Rory Fletcher all handling well before Tom Adams put Noble clear down the right wing, to cut inside the last defender to score. Luckman’s kick hit the post.


Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Biss, Joubert ( Carroll ), Hood, Joyce ( Price ), Adams, Darroch, Fletcher, Lowe, Luckman, Lewis, Gibson ( Catliff ), Noble, Small, Perfect


March 2, 2012