Hammers 1s v Belsize Park

The rain had abstained for the Saturday fixture at Hurlingham Park. Belsize Park were flying high at the top of the league, and so Hammers knew that they had to play at their best to topple the league leaders.

The first twenty of the match was ferocious. Both teams not giving an inch. Hammersmith had a foray into BP’s 22 and returned with 3 points courtesy of Alex Warner’s boot.
Both teams were sticking to their game plans and played wonderful tactical kicking. Both testing their back 3’s to see whose would crack first.

It was to be Hammers, they were pinned back into the corner with a wonderful piece of kicking from BP’s Fly, this led to a knock on and 4 reset scrums. When eventually the ball was released from the 16 forwards battling it out, BP picked and went continually creating momentum for the backs to dive over to dot it onto the line. Converted.

From the restart, a poor chase and BP were back up to the Hammers 22. From a good turnover to a poor clearance kick, BP set a solid maul and drove over to score their second.
3-15 Half time

H&F believed this game was hanging in the balance. Neither side had asserted great dominance and were tussling for control.
However it was to be BP who gained the control in the second half. They came out with explosive pace and meticulous structure, which ground down the Hammers.
A further three tries were scored by BP, with the pick of the bunch being a silky dummying run from the Fly to find support on his inside to put them under the posts.

Hammers fought to the end, continually stealing line out ball and tackling hard. But a hard lesson was to be taught by BP, structure and consistent effort is the key in London 2 North West. Hammers cannot work hard in quarters; it has to be for the entire game.
3-30 FT

SIX NATIONS 2019

  Fully paid up members of the Club over the age of 18 are eligible to apply for tickets for England’s home games against France, Italy and Scotland in the 2019 Six Nations . To apply for tickets  Download the application form (click here to download form);  Complete the form and send it to tickets@fulhamrugby.co.uk; […]

Hammers 3s v HAC

Hammers 3s were looking to turn the tide, following 5 defeats from 6 league games with their home fixture vs HAC 3’s.

The Hammers kicked off with the wind at their backs, and had the better of the early exchanges camping in the opposition 22. The hammers worked opportunities down the right flank three times, only to be denied by HAC’s scramble defence on twice and an unfortunate Hammers knock on as the try line beconned.

Not to be denied for long, Hammers forwards continued to make inroads into the HAC defence and repeated assaults of the HAC line resulted in Abe Knight crossing the white wash for what seemed to be the first of many for the Hammers. 5-0 Hammers.

Unfortunately for running Rugby & Hammers fans the game then descended into an arm wrestle, with the Hammers giving away a mountain of penalties for ruck and maul infringements and offsides. This indiscipline allowed HAC back into the game eventually scoring from a line out Maul. 5-7.

Going behind revitalised the Hammers, and a barn storming run from Gael carved open the HAC defence then put away Henry Wigzell to put Hammers back in front 10-7.

As the half drew to a close, Hammers indiscipline once again put the team under pressure as more ruck infringements resulted in a yellow for Sam Jacobs. Hammers maul defence however held strong and saw the half out 10-7.

The second half, was a tight affair for the first 20 minutes with a HAC penalty the only score 10-10. The final 20 minutes the game once again came to life, with HAC pressing the line and taking a quick tap penalty 5 out from Hammers line Parko got binned for not retreating. (As an old man he should really have know better!)

Once again down to 14 men the Hammers defence held strong until the final minutes of the sin binning when a cross field kick was collected by the HAC wing to take the lead 10-17.

Back to a full compliment and with all the “finishers” on the pitch, Hammers pressed for an equalising score. A combination of strong running upfront and dazzling footwork from Tom “hamstrings” Hamnett put the Hammers in striking distance of the HAC line. Unfortunately the opportunity was lost as a result of a line out mix up.

Keen to make amends the forward pack won the ball against the head of the following scrum, 3 phases later a strong inside line from Rob Fox scoring under the sticks put Hammers level 17-17. A frantic 5 minute period at the end of the game from both sides ended with the ball thumped into touch to end the game.

Not a win, but not a defeat. Hammers 3s walked away with lots of positives and some technical areas to work on around the ruck.

Man of the Match: Jake Little
Tin Men (in order of offence): Steve Harris (constant reminders for arriving on time to the group, only to arrive 20mins late), Joe Slater (injured in warm up), Harry Campbell-Lamerton (knock on over the line), Sam Jacobs & Tom Parkinson (Yellow Cards).

Hammers 1s v Chiswick

The Hammers came into the big local derby against Chiswick at Fortress Hurlingham having beaten them home and away last year and were keen to continue this trend on Saturday afternoon. Coming off the back of a good away win at Enfield, spirits were high in what is shaping up to be an evenly contested, yet unpredictable division. The visitors had started their season well, and with a newly installed 3G pitch at their home ground, had beaten Harpenden comfortably, a week earlier.
And it was the visitors who started the quicker of the two sides, having gained possession and quick ball, with their outside centre bursting through from 10 metres out to score the first points of the match, which were then converted.
After some questionable touch line “tweeting” from the away side, the Hammers hit back with a sublime move which sure the centre pairing of Chellew and Waldron combine to send Chellew crashing through under the sticks, with Doherty adding the extras. The experienced Fly half was also putting in a monumental shift in defence, arguably being the lightest man on the pitch. However, the visitors hit back again after some sustained pressure, and far too many turnovers conceded by the home side, with their winger running in their second, again converted.
Half time saw the visitors with a seven point lead, knowing they would be up against the wind and an invigorated Hammers side who were yet to hit third gear. And it was the home side, who hit back early, with a delicious cut out pass from Chellew which saw Gee burn his man on the outside and stride into the left hand corner to take the score to 14 points a piece, after a touch line conversion by the ever present Doherty.
Neither side managed to gain any sort of momentum with multiple penalties either way halting progress. But with 12 minutes to go, a failed touchline clearance landed in the hands of Panter who nudged the ball into the corner, before finding its way to Cale Holmes, who duly got himself on the scoresheet. A missed conversation left the score at 19-14 to the home side with 10 to play.
With the clock ticking, the visitors knocked a penalty into the corner and after a well organised catch and drive, and some pick and gos, Chiswick scored in the corner. A missed conversion left the scores at 19-19 with 5 to play. Suddenly, the Hammers were on the front foot again and pushing for that decisive final score. The referee then blew for a penalty for the home side, and a shot at the posts was decided after much deliberation. Up stepped David Panter, whose right boot had perhaps been trapped in the district lines closing doors, and the ball ended up becoming a “grass cutter”. And so the spoils were shared and a much anticipated return leg on Chiswicks new pitch awaits in 2019.
Man of the match: Simon “Chopper” Doherty
Dick of the Day: David “Lawnmower” Panter

Hammers 5s v Old Streetonians

The third long journey to North East London of the fledgling season was upon the 5s having many question whether this is in fact a SW league. Old Street 3s were the opposition and despite having mixed results this season looked a sizeable bunch and had a big squad in comparison to the 5s bare bench.
 
The 5s started with characteristic intensity with Cusition recently back from injury dumping the kick off receiver in to touch. The resulting pass off clean line out ball was intercepted by what must have been Usain Bolt for the lack of offside call. Not the ideal first touch of the ball for debutant 9 Myles Green in a Hammers jersey but poor reffing was not going to stop him having a stellar first run out. Some solid support running from Mr. Whippy off a line break and a smart draw and pass to Drysdale opened the scoring. Drysdale was finally willing to run following a positive assessment of the turf.
 
Old Street had some big runners and although tackling wasn’t quite up to the standard of the season so far they were largely kept at bay and could rarely capitalise on momentum. Following the first couple of tries from the 5s Old Street had the ball for the next 15 minutes and were finally able to get on the scoreboard despite a clear hold up. This shocked all back in to sticking to the game plan and the rest of the half although competitive saw the 5s in control and in possession with a couple of good counter attacking tries particularly from debutant Wright breaking the 5s record for a single game with 5 tries.
 
The second half was a more free flowing affair with Old Street beginning to tire and seeing the game out of sight. A rare hooker hat-trick from Danby with some good support and loose ball gathering capped a solid contribution from the tight 5 with 100% line out and scrum retention and plenty of turned over ball. Off the solid set piece and breakdown the service and game management from new 9/10 partnership of Green and Duffy was outstanding.
 
Heavy legs began to take a toll on some of the more mobile 5s. Thomson can be forgiven after another outstanding game all round for taking it easy after sustaining a knock. However young Jack Mitchell after subbing himself at half time due to over indulging the previous night returned fresh to the pitch late in the second half to take the ball in support with 30m clear to the line. What followed can only be described as an engine breakdown and hard living catching up, the poor lad came to a stuttering crawl before throwing the ball away and having to live with the shame of having a far faster older brother. Some clear soul searching took place back in the changing rooms and on the social.
 
Overall a solid performance played in good spirits sees the 5s march on unbeaten in to a top of the table clash against Quins.
 
Tries: Wright x5, Drysdale x2, Mitchell Snr x2, Danby x3, Davies x1, 
Cons: Danby x11    
MoMs: Gauthier & Wright
DoD: Green

Hammers 1s v Enfield

Hammersmith and Fulham continued their excellent away form this season with victory over a physical and hard working Enfield side.

Hammers started the game as they had the week previous, with quick ball and a strong attacking threat. Within the opening couple of minutes Ultan Bruton made an excellent break, running at a weak inside shoulder and breaking clear from 40m to score. This attacking threat and energy continued with Angus Lean scoring an excellent solo try just minutes later, beating several Enfield defenders with a weaving run towards the posts. Si Doherty converted and a 12-0 lead was established.

Enfield however demonstrated why they are team to fear this season with some strong running and excellent tackling to place Hammersmith under pressure. With Hammers giving away penalties and Enfield establishing a foot hold in the game they soon scored. A strong rolling maul and a good finish from their forwards put them back in the game, the try was duly coveted and the score stood at 12-7.

As the first half progressed both teams played some solid rugby with Cillian Waldron and Jack Hooper working hard in the centres in both attack and defence. In addition, Rob Johnstone and Phil Lord illustrated some excellent work around the ruck to steal possession and alleviate periods of Enfield pressure.

As the first half neared it’s end Si Doherty converted a good penalty to give the Hammers some breathing space. Moments later an excellent box kick from Sam Sheppard placed the Enfield back three under pressure, this led to Hammersmith regaining possession. With a strong scrum and some excellent hands Ed James put Huw Bowen in to score in the corner.

Half time score 18-7.

Enfield started the second half strongly, some excellent running lines and numerous off loads out of the tackle placed the away side under pressure. This pressure eventually told with Enfield breaking the Hammers resistance and scoring. Some excellent goal kicking from the Enfield fly half meant the home side were always in touch.

As the second half progressed Hammers needed a moment of brilliance to extend their slender lead. Once more, a brilliant platform from the forwards and some excellent offloads out of the tackle gave Hammers good field position, this would lead to Jack Hooper scoring a brilliant try out on the left.

Enfield however demonstrated why they are a strong and resilient side this season, coming right back at Hammersmith. Wave after wave of yellow and blue shirts pounded the Hammers defence, only to be matched by some outstanding defence, with two try’s held up over the line. Enfield however were not deterred and finally broke down the Hammers defence to score deep in the corner with less than 10 minutes remaining.

With just 3 points separating the sides the game would be won by the team that could hold their nerve. As Enfield elected to chip over the top and relinquish possession, Huw Bowen retrieved the ball, kicking deep into the corner, this placed the Enfield winger under pressure, and consequently Hammers regained possession just 5m out from the line. An accurate line out and and superb rolling maul from the Hammers forwards resulted in Tim Murray scoring and putting Hammersmith 8 points ahead with just 90 seconds on the clock. This time would prove to be too short for Enfield with Hammersmith running down the clock and taking the victory.

Credit should go to both Enfield and Hammersmith for what was an excellent game of rugby in all forms. It is evident both sides have made big strides over the summer months and will look to improve upon their league positions from last year.

Dunseath says, “It was the win we came for. We worked hard on certain key areas of defence the last few weeks and despite allowing them in for two driving mauls they couldn’t get through or round us for 72mins.
I’m incredibly proud of the players, who showed significant determination, guts and character. It’s especially pleasing with their game management. We spoke about “moments” in the game that all add up, mid week. Seeing the players problem solve and realise they didn’t need the ball in the last 10mins was an outstanding display of maturity.”

Enfield 22 Hammersmith and Fulham 30

Hammers 1s v Harpenden – Match Report

A very cold and wet day at Hurlingham Park as Hammers 1st XV took on Harpenden. Both teams have enjoyed strong starts to the season with the hosts unbeaten and keen to exercise some demons from last season’s home game which saw the visitors come away with 20-55 victory.
 
Harpenden arrived at Hurlingham Park late, but the logistical issues they had didn’t show and they started the much brighter team. With a tight head the size of a small SUV they put the Hammers scrum under a lot of pressure. The conditions weren’t suited to Hammers style of running with ball in hand and so Hammers resorted to kicking for territory, however the kick chase was disjointed and offered the Harpenden back three too much space run into. The scramble defence couldn’t stop Harpenden scoring their first try. Hammers then conceded too many penalties in a row and the situation worsened when the referee marched under the post for a penalty try.
 
Eventually, when Harpenden’s SUV ran out of gas and was hauled ashore, the Hammers scrum was able to stabilize and even got the better of Harpenden on a few occasions. The Hammers started to get a grip in the match and go through the phases, Magnus Barber wearing a vintage rugby Jersey from Ed Clark haydays of the 00’s, was pivotal put in a a big shift with strong carries. This allowed the Hammers to get back in to the match and assert some pressure on the opposition.
 
With the Harpenden defence keeping the Hammers at bay, Hammers had to come with other ways around it, an ambitious cross field chip from GaryBarlowcomeFlyHalfAlexWarner landed in Huw ‘Big Red’ hands and off he went on a meandering run evading tackles like old Captain Rich Horsley evaded rounds. As he dove for the line, the Harpenden covering tackle figured the only way to stop him was by trying to remove is head. Something the ref with a keen eye on Sunday mornings UFC fight had no issues with.
 
With the Hammers now camped inside the Harpenden half, they went to work building pressure. Eventually a crack appeared and Hamish ‘little red’ was able to find a gap and coast through to score for Hammers. However Little red turned from hero to villain when he tried to provide a wonder assist by chipping the ball over the top to prop-come- winger Alex Gee, the accuracy was severely lacking and had the local council approved Terry’s visions to build a stadium the ball would have surely ended up in Row Z.
 
In to the second half Hammers continued to find their gears and started to get put Harpenden under more pressure. With longer periods of possession than the first half, there was a sense that the Hammers had shaken off their slow start and would now begin to take a foot hold in the match. However owing to the bad conditions, Hammers in accuracy and high penalty count cost them dearly and allowed Harpenden off the hook.
 
James Darrall (failed backrow) was able to stifle Harpenden’s attack with some strong chop tackles in defence which kept Hammers in the game. He continued these displays off the pitch as well, as later that night he was able to chop not one but two larger women.
 
Another driving maul from Harpenden, allowed club captain Rogan ‘the Bogan’ an opportunity to launch vicious assault fellow team mate Ultan with a swift elbow to the head, in what one can only assume was premeditated attack in response for Ultan posting a photo in the clubs whatsapp group of two club members sharing an intimate moment.
 
Harpenden scored two further tries in the closing 10 minutes which gave the score line some extra spice in their favour, however in truth it was their strong start to the game and the Hammers poor decision making that won it for them. The final score was 10-36 to the visitors which in the end it was a disappointing result for the host who have ambitions of push towards the summit of the table. 
 
The Hammers 1st XV next game will be a cup match against Southwold, where they will be looking to put their first loss of the season behind them and get back to winning ways. 

Hammers 2 v Hampstead – Match Report

The first major test for the H&F 2XV came in the form of Hampstead 2XV travelling down to hurlingham park on a wet Saturday afternoon. Both had started the season in fine form winning all their games with bonus point victories…… this was going to be a bruiser!

The Hammers 2XV were already weakened with the news of a new coach and a new captain, resembling an act of dumb and dumber in James “not sure if you know I’m injured” Cramp and Taylor “limited vocabulary” Williams. The preparation started poorly with the new coach realising none of the squad had listened to his request of picking the kit up from Mcgettigans, and with the help of Slade “pretentious” Buchner the uber bills began to rack up on the one-legged coach.

The warm up was slick and effective with Angus “Jonny May” Lean and Tim “Vunipola” Macnaughton getting the troops going.  Ed “Grandad” Clark was getting the backs fired up, rumour has it he is now the 3rd best 9 at the club…. Not the best way to treat your elders.

The game kicked off and Hammers had started very well, utilising the structures that have been put in place this season, the scrum setting a good platform for our talented backs to run from. Sustained pressure led to a successful penalty kick from Jack “not quite Wilkinson” Davies.

Shortly after this there was a horrific injury to the Hampstead centre who had already made some very good inroads to our half. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the Hampstead player in his recovery from this injury!

This understandably spurred Hampstead on, and they were fighting well for their friend, displaying some very abrasive and constructive rugby. They took a 10-3 lead at half time.

Words of wisdom were flying around at half time, with a lot of the experienced players chipping in with the systems we should be doing, the main one being the forwards needing to dominate the contact area and rucks. Nick “also loves a golf cart” Powell getting riled and putting the frighteners up the boys, nobody wanted to see him on the Fulham palace road in a golf buggy.

The second half started, and Hammers began to control the game, utilising the structures well again and beginning to spread the ball through the hands which was impressive in difficult conditions. 10 minutes into the second half and 4 changes were made, with Rhys “Statham” Williams, Dom “Peel” Woodfine, Ed “I’m a 10 not a 15” James and Slade “pretentious” Buchner entering the fray and making big impacts.

The first big of magic of the day from Casey “strictly come dancing” Dennis, made some space out of nothing and fed Lean for the Hammers first try of the day. Not long after this Dennis made another fantastic break, which had the fans on the side-line holding up the 10 signs for his showstopping footwork, another try, and the hammers were 15-10 to the good.

Hampstead rallied, they decided to tighten up and really take the fight to us, resulting in a Chad “3 birds fighting over me” Buchner receiving the sin bin, luckily none of these girls were waiting for him…. Hampstead then scored from the resulting line out, with their kicker nailing a difficult conversion.

17-15 with 3 minutes to play! The Hammers kicked the ball well at the kick off and won a very effective turnover within the Hampstead half. The kick was tough, but one which would win us the game. Did Davies, who had missed pretty much everything all day, have it in him to make the kick…… of course he did, backing himself and producing a superb match winning kick! The sideline was going crazy with the 10s raised once again, Dennis ears had pricked noticing this, but unfortunately this wasn’t for him.

The match finished with a hard thought win for the Hammers 2XV, a first competitive win for Williams as captain and Cramp as coach! The boys were coming down the tunnel with a lot of energy and joy, even Grandad Clark managed a DAB! A fantastic way to end the game.

Again, we wish the Hampstead player who suffered the injury all the best in his recovery and look forward to facing them again later in the season.

MOM – Casey Dennis

DOTD – Chad Buchner

Debuts – Alex Peers, Chris Appleyard, Ed James

Hammers 3s v Millfield Old Boys Badgers

Having lost their first two Middlesex 1 league games Hammers 3rd XV hosted local South West London rivals the Millfield Old Boys Badgers, at Fortress Hurlingham, on a warm 29th September afternoon.

 

Benefiting from a compliment of newly selected Hammers, blended with many of the 3XV old guard, on paper Hammers posted a strong XV.

 

Following a solid warm up Hammers took control of the game early, having the vast majority of the initial territory and possession. Hammers intent to play was obvious form the outset with ball being spun wide and wingers Huw Bowen and George Lawson both getting involved in the early action.

 

Early in the first half stalwart Huw Bowen showed his top-class finishing skills from the half way line, rounding several Badgers on his way to dot down under the sticks. The points were added by newbie Scrum half Harry Roe who displayed confidence from the boot all afternoon in what became a high scoring local derby.

 

After a further attritional battle, with big forward carries being made by Tim Chandler, Chris Appleyard and James ‘Seamus’ Heaney the Hammers lead was added to by no8 Damo ‘Thomas Waldrom’ who carried hard to dot down over the line.

 

However, the Badgers didn’t come to Hurlingham just for the glorious Fulham sunshine and showed their dogged determination and grit to fight back mid first half, taking back possession, building strong phases and working hard to cross the line twice in close succession.

 

Hammers retaliated with great skill being shown by the youthful Oli Scholes who dotted down to help re-build the hammers lead however, Bagders again played their one-up game plan and built phases to score in the second period of the first half.

 

After a further period of phase play and strong forward carries from Oli Mitchel, Bertie Weston Davies, and veteran Simon Khalil Hammers speedo wearing skipper Will Parker, showed grit to get over the line and further build the lead for Hammers before half time.

 

Badgers started the second half strongly dominating possession and territory, leading to two early tries which pushed them into the lead with Hammers heads starting to drop. Close games such as these often test one’s character, with Huw Bowen stepping up to show character in abundance and score two further top-class long-range tries, putting hammers back in front.

 

Mid second half Hammers coach Dan de Wolf chose to make changes and bring on veteran scrum half Dave Buchanan, speedster Jack Hooper, the athletic Benji Reid and the new streamlined Abe Knight, demanding an immediate impact from the bench. Dan’s decision was rewarded by Jack Hooper connecting well with Oli Scholes, who both showing their ‘Dunseath coached’ in contact offloading skills to get the ball into the hands of Dave Buchanan who rounded his defender and turned back his years to finish a 50-metre run in under close chase.

 

Huw Bowen again added to the points tally showing his top-class finishing skills to score his 4th try and earn himself a man of the match performance. Hammers were now well ahead however, the ever-dogged Badgers played with heart and in good spirit, clawing one try back ahead of the final whistle.

 

Overall this was a close fought contest with Hammers just edging in front to take the victory with the final score being 46-38!

Hammers 1s v Hemel Hempstead

A cold and blustery day at Hurlingham Park saw Hammers 1st XV play Hemel Hemstead in their first home game of the season. This was an eagerly anticipated fixture as encounters between these two sides are typically high scoring. Sadly, the conditions did not lend themselves to free-flowing rugby with over 20 scrums and 20 lineouts featuring throughout the game but that did not make the game any less entertaining.
Much of the pre-game build up was focused on the size of the Hemel pack, prompting coach Liam to remind the team that organisation, connection, line speed beating size every day of the week. This rang true as Hammers new loosehead prop and converted backrower – Rob Johnstone – laid down an early marker with his first hit of the game knocking back the Hemel number eight. Fellow newbie, prop and frustrated back – Phil Lord – offered words of encouragement as only a kiwi can – “shot aye cuz”.
Hammers new 13 – Dave Panter – was marshalling the backs well in defence and it was his in attack that lead to Hammers first try of the game. “Irish Dave”, put in a well weighted kick to the Hemel five metre line, at the resulting line the ball was spilled and Hammers number eight “Helium Tim”, carried two Hemel players over the line with him for the first try of the game. Without any regular goal kickers in the team our veteran fly half – Si Doherty – dusted off his sand wedge… and then his boots but sadly could not covert the try. After a period of sustained pressure in the Hammers 22, Hemel were awarded a penalty which they duly slotted, 5-3 to Hammers.
It takes something special to make it to the top and be a non-goal kicking fly-half – think Carlos Spencer, Stephen Larkham… and Si Doherty, and it was the former Old Silhillians man that defied all odds when he stepped forward and slotted a penalty on the 15th minute, putting Hammers two scores ahead. Hammers struggled to get their threatening outside backs into the game, this was not helped by Level 7’s answer to Taqele Naiyaravoro – Alex Gee – overrunning a strike play and knocking the ball on. Blindside flanker – Ultan Bruton – began to assert himself on the game, making a number of dominant carries and showing great work rate in defence in what was a slog of the halfway line between the two packs.
With 10 minutes to go before the halftime whistle, Hemel Hemstead made the most of their dominant lineout and heavier pack as they began to get up a head of steam in a driving maul. That was until their looshead prop broke away, running into frustrated flanker come hooker – James Darrall – who managed to dislodge the ball in the tackle. Hammers worked the ball to the ever-elusive James “JLo” Lo who in a trademark run managed to wriggle his way out of several tackle attempts before darting down the left wing and dotting down in the corner. Doherty missed the conversion, 13-3 to Hammers.
The following kick off saw Hammers gather the ball and after several phases work their way back into the Hemel 22. Sarries Salesman and Shaun Perry doppelganger – Ed Clark – identified space on the left-hand side, passing it the ball to Darrall who in an effort to emulate Danny “Golden Wrists” Cipriani threw a miss two to JLo on the left wing. The ball flew like a one-winged pigeon to the winger who put a deft chip in before being dragged down without the ball resulting in a penalty try to Hammers. 20-3 to Hammers.
Just after halftime, Hammers looked to continue where they left off with Darrall cutting through the Hemel defence unopposed. Darrall’s housemate and joint man of the match, Ultan, looked to link up with the hooker calling for a grubber kick through but instead received an offload to the face – resulting in a bloody nose. Clarky kicked a box kick out on the full and Rogan conceded a few penalties before on the 50th minute Hemel scored from a driving maul.
On the 65th minute, more indiscipline from the Hammers bench saw replacement scrumhalf and Belfast’s version of American Psycho – Dave Buchanan – sinbinned for a deliberate knock-on and Hemel were awarded a penalty try. With one minute to go and the game potentially going either way, Si Doherty stepped forward once more and slotted a penalty bringing the score to 23-15 with one minute to go.
Hammers fullback Taylor “Tay Tay” Williams fielded the following kick off and instead of kicking the ball out to end the game, he tried his best to give Hemel a losing bonus point. The Owen Wilson lookalike opted to run the ball but was thankfully knocked into touch. Aside from that and kicking the ball out on the full, Williams had a solid game on his return to the 1st XV making several last-ditch tackles and organising the defence from the back. That is despite being out until the early hours of the morning preparing himself for the club’s annual pub golf that followed the game. All in all it was a gutsy performance from the boys in red, white and blue who thoroughly deserved their first league victory of the season.