Chiswick corrected the mistakes of last week with a big win over Harrow. Chiswick made it hard for themselves after racing in to a 17-0 lead, surrendering an intercept try before the break and charge down try immediately after, but regained control of the game scoring 7 tries to 1 in the final 30 of the game.
The final score, 62-17 shows a marked improvement for the side, although a referring error has the score down as 55-17. The result, with all tries caught on film, should be contested.
After two years of fighting for survival in London 1, and two close league matches this season, Chiswick finally cut free towards the end of this match. On a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon the numerous home supporters were soon quietened as Chiswick charged into the fray, with Jon Joyce to the fore. Harrow soon showed that they could take their own lineouts, but the scrums were a different matter, with Chiswick pushing the hosts back at will. Harrow were only saved by the bulk and skill of their No.8, and the efforts of their relatively lightweight scrum half, whose darting runs produced some good openings. Unfortunately for Harrow Chiswick had absolute dominance in the backs, where Max Burrows stood out early on with some powerful breaks, and where the home tackling did not come close to matching that of their opponents. Furthermore, Chiswick achieved far more turnovers than Harrow.
Stuart Parmeter, standing in at hooker, had to find his catchers at the lineouts, and after the first, marginally off-straight effort, did well, with Sam Hood, Joyce and Phil Gray all playing their parts. Within five minutes Chiswick were 7-0 up, Marco Chraplewczyk, Burrows and Joyce being involved before the latter touched down left of the posts. Chris Hitchcock slid the kick just inside the left post. Chiswick soon doubled their score, a badly sliced cross-field kick by Harrow falling kindly for the marauding Chiswick captain Dan Sutherland in space. He failed to catch it, but knocked it sideways before recovering it and powering straight for the line. An identical kick and result followed. Harrow came back strongly and Chiswick were grateful to Hood when he salvaged a charged-down kick from a horde of home forwards.
Further Chiswick pressure brought the third try, scored by No.7 Jon Olley who had been found out on the left by Hitchcock with the defence all sucked into the middle. The kick just failed. Harrow kept trying to attack, and with Chiswick getting a bit careless with some over-ambitious passing, an interception got them seven points back, although if Gabs Lowe had brought down the interceptor with his last ditch tackle, rather than the pursuing Sutherland, things might have been different. Matt Cooper came on for an injured Blair McKinlay, with the scrum remaining dominant, and Dan Purkiss replaced Tom Steer. Towards half-time, a Chiswick forward got a yellow card (for tackling a player without the ball?), and Harrow began to look dangerous for the first time.
With Chiswick still a man short, Harrow got an early second-half try when Lowe’s clearance kick was charged down. The home No.6 just failed to convert this with his unusual low sliced kick. With fifteen players, but only seven points ahead, Chiswick applied more pressure and increased their lead when Max Burrows, on the break, picked out Bunbury to send racing in for the bonus point try, duly converted. Very soon they went further ahead when a poor home kick went straight to a Chiswick player for Hitchcock to get a well-earned try, which he failed to convert.
Charlie Kneen came on for Hood, and with Steer back on in place of Lowe, Chiswick looked more and more hungry for tries. Three followed almost immediately, all scored by Steer, whose speed and ability to twist and turn on the manicured grass took him smoothly through the home defence. Two of these were converted. Sandwiched between these tries was a kicking cameo by Parmeter, who volleyed a loose ball back straight into Burrows’ hands to speed up the backs’ passing.
Playing for pride, Harrow attacked strongly, and after a dropped ball at the end of a move had deprived them of a try, they got over in the right corner. Chiswick were not finished yet, and further tries came from Olley and Joyce, the latter courtesy of a great passing move ending with the recovered McKinlay slipping a super-accurate pass to the No.6. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Chiswick team: McKinlay, Parmeter, Chraplewczyk, Hood, Copperwheat, Joyce, Olley, Gray, Dovey, Hitchcock, Sutherland (c), Burrows, Bunbury, Steer, Lowe; Cooper, Kneen, Purkiss
T: Steer (3) Olley (2) Joyce (2) Bunbury (1) Hitchcock (1) Sutherland (1)
C: Hitchcock (6)
Author: Dave Lovell