Campion 5 Chiswick 24
Campion, a young team from Campion school, having been promoted in two consecutive seasons, started confidently, in wintry weather, but Chiswick were in no mood to give them any space to open up. Campion took the first lineout, and set up a maul. They could not achieve any forward momentum, however, and eventually lost the ball. Their next maul, near their line, ended with a hopeful kick, run back by the ever-eager Joe Grindle. Chiswick kept Campion pinned in their 22, and won a penalty nearly in front of the posts. Andy John, at fly half, pulled the kick just wide. Not to worry. The long kickoff was caught by Rory McLaughlin, who gave Grindle a chance to run in space on the right. Some seconds later, a trail of baffled defenders led towards the left corner, where Grindle has just touched down. John’s kick was pulled again.
Campion came back strongly, but Chiswick’s defence soaked up the pressure well. When Campion tried to spin it along the line, they were given no room. A couple of high kicks were then aimed at Tom Steer, but he coped competently with them as the runners charged him. A better maul by Campion allowed the ball to be passed out with Chiswick on the back foot, but the final pass was spilled. A good cross kick by John reached Steer, and he and McLaughlin combined, the latter finding Grindle whistling up on the left. The pass failed to be caught, however, with the home line in sight. Luca Vannini was a real thorn in the home team’s side as they tried to develop moves from their scrums, aided admirably by the Chiswick back row.
The Chiswick lineouts were not secure, and a five metre one was wasted when the ball sailed over the jumpers to the Campion’s tail gun Charlie ( Campion were equally guilty soon after ). Rikki Darroch intercepted a poor chip kick to give the backs a chance, which they spurned, and then Sam Biss made a quick diagonal break, only for the backs to spill the ball again. With a bit of blue sky in the distance, Chiswick pressure began to tell, and with the lineout ball luckily coming back off Matt Pickering for Sam Hood to tidy up, Vannini eventually threw a narrow-side cut-out pass to Hood, who hurdled a tackle and scored in the left corner. Wonder kid Grindle, having watched John’s efforts, grabbed the ball and slotted it between the posts.
With Hallett on for Gibson, Chiswick were reduced to fourteen players early in the second half, and Campion soon made a break down the left wing for their wing to get in wide out. The conversion failed. Chiswick worked harder and with Biss combining well with the backs in midfield, Steer suddenly caught a glimpse of space. He rocketed around the defence and back along the in-goal area to touch down half-way to the posts. Not quite close enough for a displeased ( with himself ) Grindle.
James Dibble, who had been having his usual energetic game in the loose, had to retired injured, but Chiswick survived the ten minutes without further loss, and cruised through the final quarter of the game. The only further score came after a strong weaving run by McLaughlin. The ball went loose, and was prodded on by a Chiswick boot for Hallett to pick up and power over, Grindle drop-kicking the conversion.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, El Kabbi, Pickering, Hood, Biss, Darroch, Fatsis, Vannini, John, Steer, Gibson, Sutherland, McLaughlin, Grindle, Adams, Hallett, Cooper