Chiswick 21 Hampstead 24
After a tough but impressive win at home to Welwyn, Chiswick headed to Hampstead looking to secure 5 points to keep the pressure on Belsize Park but were dealt a cruel blow in the warm up with Rich Bryan pulling out with a back injury, which saw the more than capable Jon Joyce come in to the starting line up but the rotation policy dismissed.
Playing in to a strong headwind for the first half, Chiswick handled some early home pressure before a couple of penalties put the away side in the top corner. A line out, maul and quick crash balls drew in the defence to leave plenty of space for Jon Joyce to slip in under the posts. Immediately after though, Hampstead hit back with two Chiswick handling errors punished with maximum points, one seeing their wing grubber the ball nearly 70m to score by the posts, and a penalty. Chiswick 7 Hampstead 17.
Chiswick then started to work there way back in to the game with some clever phase play, and Ollie Snook found James Bunbury through a gap in the centres – a carbon copy of the score from last week. This time he found Tom Steer on the outside who scored in the corner. Hampstead then again worked their way in to the lead, scoring two tries before half time after some poor defending. Chiswck 14 Hampstead 24.
With the elements in the second half, Chiswick worked the Hampstead defence hard who, like Chiswick the week before, held firm for large parts of the game. There were multiple attempts at the line, more than one of which were adjudged ‘no-try’ much to the away sides disbelief but with 8 minutes to play, Snook found finally a way through to give Chiswick the opportunity of an unlikely win, but it wasn’t to be.
In the end a disappointing result for a team that still harbours the ambition to be promoted back to London 1, but the team did leave with a point and it could have been more had a few more balls gone to hand, or decisions gone our way.
Chiswick: Barkham, Dibble, Cooper, Hood, Copperwheat, Gadsby, Olley, Joyce, Dovey, Snook, Steer, Burrows, Bunbury, Purkiss, Lowe; Parmeter, Harper
T: Joyce, Steer, Snook
C: Snook (3)