First away victory for Chiswick
Charlton Park, struggling with injuries and players moving on, gave as good as they got in the first half, which was a real end-to-end affair, both defences being porous enough to encourage all out attack. First blood went to Chiswick after a sustained passing movement ended with James Bunbury passing out to Dan Sutherland, racing down the left touchline. Sutherland rounded the defence and touched down under the posts, giving Simon Hallett an easy kick. Chiswick kept the pressure up, but within five minutes Charlton Park were level after their right wing showed the danger of kicking the ball away, counter-attacking with a speedy burst down the middle of the park. Although eventually tackled by Sutherland, the support was good, and a try under the posts ensued.
Chiswick came back strongly, and another long attacking passage produced a penalty in a kickable position, and Hallett obliged with the three points. Neither side looked confident in the lineouts, but both scrums were solid. Chiswick were stronger around the scrums, however, and had more possession, Simon Allen-Clarke, Mike Fatsis and Marc Copperwheat forming a solid basis to the pack. A rare sustained home attack allowed their left wing to show his paces. He was not quick enough, however, having chipped neatly over Tom Steer’s head, to beat him to the touch down. Steer, in turn was caught behind by the wing, as Chiswick broke down the right. Chiswick turned the screw again and a penalty kick to give a five metre lineout started another siege of the home line. Two more penalties were taken before the Chiswick pack was stopped illegally when heading for the home line and the referee awarding a penalty try, converted by Hallett.
Chiswick failed to deal with the kick-off (an area requiring improvement), and two minutes later it was 17-12 as Charlton Park demonstrated how well they could retain possession when attacking.
They then demonstrated how to run the ball back from the opponents’ kickoff, and succeeded in scoring an unconverted try in the right corner. It was Dan Godfrey’s anticipation of a kick as Charlton Park came roaring back from the kickoff, which put a stop to the home revival. The ball was moved smartly across the pitch providing Bunbury another chance to show his pace. Again it was Sutherland who benefitted from the final pass and scored in the left corner. Hallett’s kick was unsurprisingly well short. Charlton Park also missed a kick at goal just before half time.
With the wind in the second half, Chiswick slowly got on top, aided by a yellow card being given to the home team for a high tackle. It was in this advantageous period that Mike Fatsis emerged with the ball from a pile of Chiswick players who had mauled over the try line from a lineout in the home 22. The conversion kick was one of Hallett’s best, as Chiswick savoured a 12 point advantage and a bonus point. Not for long, as Chiswick yet again failed to deal with the home kickoff, giving Charlton Park the chance to kick three points, which they took, although it needed a kind deflection off the post.
The final score came after a glut of subs arrived to reinforce the Chiswick team. Hallett missed a penalty kick, but a careless home throw gave Tom Dean, at the tail of the Chiswick lineout to start a move ending with several forwards crashing over the line, Sam Hood being the ball carrier and scoring ten minutes into his season. With this result, and no obvious injuries, it was a very happy Chiswick team who returned home westwards by train.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Parmeter, Dean, Allen-Clarke, Fatsis, Copperwheat, Biss, Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Hallett, Purkiss, Godfrey, Bunbury, Steer, Sutherland; Dibble, Hood, Ross