Campbell and Cheston Lead Chiswick into Final

Rugby Result - Feltham 7 Chiswick 28

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In a no-holds-barred Middlesex Bowl semi-final, the tackling of their forwards and the flair of their back division gave Chiswick an edge over their west London opponents. The powerful Feltham pack always looked dangerous, and were a handful in the scrum, but the lighter Chiswick pack survived, helped by a red-carding in the final quarter of the game.

The huge Hanworth Park provided a bleak setting, and the rugby lacked a little in finesse. Fly half Keith Luckman took advantage of two early penalties as Feltham got on the wrong side of the referee to put Chiswick six points up. Chiswick always looked dangerous on the break, and it was no surprise when they scored a cracking try after some exemplary rugby.

Tom Adams took the lineout ball at the front; the pack mauled forwards in two stages; the ball was whipped out to wing Lee Miller; Miller looped with full back Adrian Lewis, and brought wing Mark Jones into the run. Jones then linked with Luckman who gave the scoring pass to Miller. The conversion attempt failed, but a minute later Chiswick got another, lucky try. A good run by the home left wing was just stopped by a combination of Lewis and Luckman. The latter kicked the loose ball downfield, and after another scramble with the home No.7, another loose ball was picked up by the alert Ben Cheston, who scorched down the pitch and under the posts. Luckman got this one.

A brave dive under the feet of the large home flanker by scrum half Ian Walker stopped a dangerous home movement. The play was scrappy with a lot of dropped balls. Adams and Alistair Pickering were putting in a huge number of tackles, and then veteran prop Kelvin Campbell, captain for the day, produced another couple of low try-savers.

Minutes into the second half, Cheston floored the home fly half. The Feltham No.8 picked up the loose ball, but then dropped it. Luckman seized it and gave it immediately to Cheston. Straight down the middle he zoomed, and under the posts, with Jones performing an un-needed watching brief alongside him. Luckman slotted the kick, and Chiswick were out of sight.

Cursing their luck, and inability to mount a sustained attack, Feltham nevertheless piled on the pressure, and despite going down to fourteen men, they eventually salved something from the wreck. After the tiring Chiswick team had produced a series of last ditch tackles, Feltham drove a scrum to within a couple of yards of the line, and their No.8 picked up and got over.

A superspeed conversion gave them an outside chance, but the Chiswick defence was solid to the end, and the visitors had the last laugh when the umpteenth penalty allowed Luckman an easy kick which he stroked over just before the final whistle.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Joubert, Campbell, Chraplewczyk, Oliver, Adams, Pickering ( Robbings ), Vinden ( Maguire ), Walker, Luckman, Miller, Gibson, Cheston, Jones, Lewis

March 15, 2007