Chiswick 12 Hampstead 17
Author: D Lovell
With the welcome return of James Bunbury, Chiswick, who were missing their captain, Sam Leslie-Miller, had yet another arrangement of backs, with Ed East coming in at centre and Harry Cox starting at fly half . An early high kick into space caught out the home defence before they had settled down, and earned Hampstead a scrum on the home 22. The pack slowly pushed Chiswick backwards before releasing the ball. A simple move along the line and a missed tackle got the visitors to within five metres, and good work at the next scrum led to the forwards getting over the line for the first try, converted by the referee into a penalty try.
Full back Gabs Lowe did well to cope with another probing kick as Hampstead upped the pressure, dominating possession against a home team whose tackling seeming lightweight initially, although improving as the game progressed. When Chiswick finally got the ball, an electrifying inside break by Bunbury looked sure to lead to a try, but the defence snuffed the move out. Chiswick managed a turn-over after Hampstead had tried a driving maul, and came more into the game, but when the ball reached the backs they generally eschewed trying to straighten the play, and tended to run out of space, making it difficult for the wings, Tom Steer and Luis Haddow to show their abilities.
James Bunbury makes a break through the middle
It was a narrow-side mid-field move that started a prolonged Chiswick attack after 25 minutes. Steer’s kick down the touch-line was put into touch and Chiswick just managed to get the line-out ball, allowing Ryno Lopes to do a trademark charge at the Hampstead defence. The attack was held up for a couple of minutes, but then, after a handbag session, Chiswick manage to maul over the line and get the touchdown. Cox’s kick just failed.
Ryno Lopes, somewhere in the pile, touches down for Chiswick
Hampstead came back with three points from a good penalty kick, but then proved not infallible with a couple of careless, over-strong passes, meant for their left wing, with the home line at their mercy. On the brink of half-time, however, they managed to get bodies over the home line, for a converted try, whilst Chiswick lost a protesting player to the sin bin.
Oliver Snook now came on, Cox went to fly half and the other backs shuffled around and trying to develop a coherent attack. Hampstead were not under great pressure however. Lopes kept on getting through several tackles, but losing his support. Both teams did well to get bodies behind the ball as the play as sustained attacks were rare. Chiswick did finally retain possession well in the Hampstead 22, with () Campion-Sirmioni, Sam Bliss and Lopes prominent in the build-up before Snook powered through the middle of the defence to score. He also got the conversion, and Chiswick were back in the hunt.
Captain, Marc Copperwheat, takes a line out
Despite great efforts by the home team, Hampstead’s defence refused to crumble during the last twenty minutes, and Chiswick mucked up a couple of promising moves. With poor passing and knock-ons The final result was very disappointing for the home supporters, and also for the players, who gave their all.
T: Lopes, Snook
Chiswick team: Snape, Campion-Sirmioni, Allen-Clarke, Copperwheat, Lane, Biss, Perrett, Lopes, Harlowe, Cox, Steer, East, Bunbury, Haddow, Lowe; Snook, Bryan