Chiswick Extend Lead With Emphatic Home Win

Rugby Result - Chiswick 34 Old Merchant Taylor 7

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A sparky match, with some scintillating moves left Chiswick four points clear at the top of the table. O.M.T were hit within two minutes, a front row misdemeanour gifting the home team a five metre lineout, from which new scrum half Tom Alcraft received the ball only for a huge gap to open invitingly in front of him. Leaving a patch of scorched grass behind, he touched down just in time, and Keith Luckman’s kick was perfection.

The rest of the first half was a ding-dong affair, mostly played out in the O.M.T half, as Chiswick kept up the pressure. A little frantic at times, and this led to Chiswick giving away a kickable penalty. The O.M.T kicker was close, but just wide. Luckman tried a few kicks himself and the OMT defence looked understandably nervous with the hungry Chiswick backs coming up full steam.

In contrast, Chiswick full back Lewis Hammond was calmness personified as he dealt immaculately with every kick aimed anywhere near him. Another Alcraft lunge for the line died just short, but Steffan ( Tubs ) Davies thought his pick-up and dive had earned the points. The referee thought otherwise, suggesting two movements.

The tall OMT locks, and their scrum, were causing the home team some problems, but the Chiswick defence was fiercely determined when O.M.T finally got established in the home 22. When the siege was lifted, a long kick downfield by Luckman was caught by the O.M.T defender, who then dropped the ball when tackled. Chris Hallewell got the ball, and it went via Hammond to Adrian Lewis. The winger cruised inside one player and outside two, easing his passage with gentlemanly hand-offs and scored in the left corner. The kick failed.

O.M.T started the second half well, and it required a smother tackle by Hammond on their nippy winger to save a certain try. After a penalty line kick had set up a five metre lineout for the visitors, they kept Chiswick pinned in their 22, and eventually their white-haired No.8 dragged the ubiquitous Chiswick No.8 Alistair Pickering over the line. The conversion was simple.
Another hopeful kick by Luckman proved a winner when the bounce fooled the defence and skipper winger Mark Jones, but not centre Ben Cheston who streaked over in the right corner.

Chiswick were suddenly on fire, and Graham Robbings, Luckman, Hallewell and Tom Adams linked up to feed Jones. Two players were required to stop him, but he got his pass off the ground to the prop sub, quincentenarian Kelvin Campbell, who was first in support, and whose first touch in the match was followed rapidly by a touchdown. Great roars from the large crowd of supporters for this popular man. The kick was carried away by the westerly wind ( or so the kicker might have said ).

Alcraft got in a great tap tackle on a flying O.M.T winger on a rare opposition attack, but then a loose pass in the O.M.T midfield was seized upon by Alcraft, who broke away with Cheston in support. The latter got it to Hallewell, who put Luckman in for another try. The next and last try was another beauty. Luckman put Robbings away; he was upended but got the ball to Cheston, who swerved this way and that before putting the hard-working Adams in for a well-deserved score. Luckman found his kicking boots for this gem, and the final score was only one short of what the beaming coach, Andy Barrington, had demanded. The crowd ( mostly ) went home very happy.

Chiswick team:- Donaldson, Joubert, Davies ( Campbell ), Hood, Jones ( Delaney ), Adams, Robbings, Pickering, Alcraft, Luckman, Lewis, Hallewell, Cheston, Jones, Hammond ()

November 28, 2007