Hammers storm back into form

Like every nautical epic, our tale has a terrifying storm, an old miser with one boot and most importantly, Victory!

Hammers set sail earlier than usual from the Port of Victoria to face the day’s adversaries. As predicted by Ed’s eerily accurate Navy shipping forecast, storm Kieran was prepared to his worst and the rain began. By the time the Hammers arrived at the battlefield the rain seemed unyielding. The field was dotted with standing water and even deeper puddles. Warming up on the 3G left the team drenched before the starting whistle had even been blown. But, that was where our good luck ended….. For Hammers were about to face their greatest foe; ‘A Classic Hammers Start’….

Hammers received the kick off and exited well, however an early penalty put Brighton into the corner, where several pick and go’s later they found their way to the line to take the lead.

Hammers responded with some good attack on the following phases and drove deep into the Brighton half. However, after a midfield fumble the ball was kicked through by the opposition and Brighton then proceeded to win the footrace and extend their lead against the run of play.

Play continued following the restart and things were pretty neck and neck until Brighton managed to stretch the Hammers defence just enough to sneak round the outside and add a third to their tally for the day.

The old foe was proving debilitating to the Hammers, currently 17-0 down after 12 minutes. Yet something was in the back of their minds. They were not prepared to tread the boards of Brighton Pier later actually being as big a loser as they would surely look in double denim. So the comeback began….

Hammers threw together some excellent drives and through sustained pressure won a penalty. The lineout in the corner was won after some superbly subtle acting from Alex Spicer (not be his last performance this day) and the maul marched on towards the line. By the power of some mystically unexplained sea curse, the maul appeared to collapse? Hammers played away and started to camp on the Brighton 5m. A few drives later Big Josh managed to force his way to the line with a rage that was only matched by his disdain for the weather. Carolan added the extras.

The second try for Hammers came in a very similar fashion, with a penalty once again setting the stage for another rousing Spicer acting masterclass. This time the maul held strong and the mighty Hammers pack drove over with Barry Scarr nabbing the credit. Another conversion for Joe.

Late into the First half Hammers were in possession around the half way line with the Brighton defence ready to take what could be thrown at them. With a move straight out of the Leroy Jenkins playbook, Hammers’ favourite adopted Northerner Tom Proctor picked and went through the middle of the ruck. Those old legs found a gear that had long since been forgotten as he sprinted towards the opposition 22. A draw and give on the fullback let the much more capable speedster Timmy Russell put on the afterburners and finish Hammers third try.

The half time whistle blew not too long later and the Hammers went in at half time 19-17 up.

There was a quick start to the second half and Hammers found themselves with a lineout on the Brighton 5m. This was to be Spicer’s ‘piece de resistance’. A trick lineout call and some more superb acting by the supporting forwards cast that sold the entire audience on pitch and in the stands alike, saw Alex Spicer make it to the try line almost completely untouched!

Brighton later responded to this opening act with a penalty kick that brought their total to 20.

A little later on Brighton were attacking up the far side of the pitch and proving difficult to control. Some quick hands and it looked like they were going to break away up the wing, but wait! What was that? Was it a bird? Was it a plane? NO! it was the sight of Big Josh steaming across half the pitch towards the escapee winger, he stood no chance as Big Josh proceeded to execute the most perfect flying lariat you have ever seen! And how does modern society react to such acts of vigilantism? A yellow card, I can’t spek….. It was at this point Brighton decided they had found a potential chink in the Hammers armour….and the penalty calls for a scrum began.

Although it’s always hilarious to see a winger try and be a flanker… Hammers were under the cosh in the scrums and were doing just about enough maintain their own ball. However this didn’t stop the Hammers from pushing ever onwards. A series of attacks later gave Hammers a break through the middle. The channel was flooded but an offload didn’t quite make it to hand. However, the ever low to the ground Ben Dugdale managed to recover the play and deliver a lovely little scoop up to Jack Watters who had the gas to finish the move and score under the posts.

Big Josh made an emphatic return to the pitch after his time on the naughty step with another great cover tackle after Brighton took a cheeky quick 22 dropout. His reward this time? A face full of mud and a period of short term blindness….Josh really hated the weather……..

Storm Kieran reared his ugly head again deep into the second half but that wasn’t enough to throw Hammers of their game. Making up for his previous error of not stepping a hooker in open field, second favourite adopted Northerner Harry Boyd finished another great try in the far corner. Northerners do like this weather….

Brighton, through a series of penalties, made their way into the Hammers 22 where they were to strike one final blow across the bow of the great warship HMS Hammer. Despite the best effort of First Officer Ed Farher making his debut at tighthead, Brighton managed to win their own scrum ball and begin their assault. The tight defence was solid and the Hammers held strong. However Brighton once again managed to stretch away and score in the far corner to earn themselves a bonus point.

As the game drew to a close Hammers gained a lineout just outside the 22. Hammers won the ball and followed up with a series of pick and go’s. Big Bad Barry eventually breaking the line and charging down the wing. A good connection with his scrum half partner in crime and Ben Dugdale scored the final try of the match.

The final whistle blew and the Hammers had earned their first away win of the season in an absolute stormer! The final score 41-25. The story continues next week back in blighty when Hammers take on Bournemouth. Roll on another epic!

Pop Quiz Hammers!

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Get your team together, click on the poster for more details, and get involved!

Ecstasy and agony at Hurlingham Park

Saturday, 21st October 2023, will go down in history as a devastating day for most England rugby fans, as a last-gasp score left the faithful fans with a hollow feeling. It got even worse for the singers of “Sweet Chariot” when South Africa pipped the England national team to earn a place in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final.

Going into the game, Tunbridge Wells had four wins and two losses; the inverse of the Hammers, who had two wins and four losses, making this an enticing 9th vs. 4th place fixture. The weather was respecting the behemoth occasion by releasing the heavens upon the hallowed grounds of SW6. New flatmates, Tim and Marshall, had a particularly romantic moment in the pouring rain as they performed “One Day More” on the ride to Hurlingham Park, where the weather remained very miserable indeed.

Tunbridge Wells kicked off, and it was caught by a sliding Harry Scarr before both teams engaged in some excellent kick-tennis. Joe Carolan delivering some excellent bombs with his now trademarked “throw the ball at his foot and hit it really hard” technique, which fired the Hammers downfield. Wells began the afternoon with several handling errors, and the Hammers utilised the opportunities with our former center turned scrum-half, now playing at 10, Ross Anderson in the pocket for a delicious chip over the top of the advancing Kent midfield. Joint second-fastest winger in the club, Tim Russell latched onto the bobbling ball and dotted down for the first try of the game. Joe Carolan conversion: 7 – 0.

The thousands of spectators down at Hurlingham Park really got to experience the highs and lows of the beautiful game as they relished in the ecstasy of a 50-22 from Ross Anderson, before flinching with anxiety as he recovered a Tunbridge grubber, dummied the chasing winger, and then cleared the ball (to midfield) all from our own try-line. After some uninteresting pressure, Wells won a penalty and opted for the points: 7 – 3. The weather persisted, resulting in more and more kicks as both backlines looked to gain an advantage, Peter Morris producing some fine nudges from his own 22 to relieve the pressure on the Hammers.

At the 20-minute mark, Tunbridge Wells had mounted an all-out attack for the Hammers line from a solid driving maul; they worked it nicely to the back, hit a good runner in the middle, produced a nice tip-on carry, dropped the ball, and allowed Scott Van Berckel to boot the loose ball forward. At that moment, it was as though someone had fired the starting gun for a 100m race; within seconds, the Hammers’ back three were flying forward in a perfect chevron, hunting the ball down as it thundered over halfway. Often described as lightning-quick by everyone, Peter Morris, Marshall MacLeod, and Tim Russell raced forward. The former honey badger got there first and demonstrated his unselfishness by slicing the grubber wayward into the path of Peter Morris. The Austrian playmaker returned the favor as he gathered the loose ball and offloaded it back, just as the Wells’ players started to surround them both. The passage was pure skill and just good rugby, not an absolute fluke that helped avoid an embarrassment for a spurned opportunity. Joe Carolan missed conversion, before rightfully blaming the post: 12 – 3.

As we entered spooky season, the Hammers were haunted by their discipline yet again. Wells took the points again: 12 – 6. After the restart and another knock-on by Wells, the weather proving to be their second biggest challenge of the day after, of course, the monstrous carries of, the newly unsingle, Josh Asafu-Adjaye. Inspired by Captain Proctor, the Hammers drove forward and won a lineout, a little too convincingly, and as a back writing this, Tonbridge Wells did something very anti-rugby: they didn’t compete in the pushy things after the lineouts. Clearly confused that their

forwards could think coherently, the Hammers lost their concentration for a brief period and allowed Tunbridge to gain significant territory, resulting in another penalty won in their opposition 22. It was in this moment that Marshall MacLeod (the Hammers’ joint-second fastest winger) suddenly decided that he was hungry and instead of opting for meat pies, opted for some cheese. With a man advantage, Wells fashioned some strong carries to score a well-worked try under the sticks. Conversion was good as the whistle sounded for half-time: 12 – 13.

The Hammers came out flying, gathering the kickoff and making excellent yards through huge carriers from Zak Underwood and Alex Spicer. Ross Anderson risked it all as he put his ribs on show to the Tunbridge flanker as Pete Morris skipped beautifully through a gap in midfield. He was brought down agonizingly close to the line. After a quick ruck, Ben Dugdale whipped the ball out to our gorgeous hooker, Scott VB, who dotted down. Joe Carolan missed conversion: 17 – 13.

The second half continued the lovely game of kick-tennis, Ross and Joe delivering some excellent bombs. Tim Russell caught a long return kick and was promptly decapitated by the opposite center, resulting in the ref dishing out the second yellow of the game. Even with a man down, Tunbridge drove forward and scored an easy try out wide, primarily due to the lackluster defense from the Hammers. Conversion was good: 17 – 20.

The Hammers faithful knew there was going to be a game on their hands now as the final quarter of the game proved to be a true cat-and-mouse story. The Hammers’ greatest ally on the day, another handling error from the Wells backline, allowed Pete Morris to gather the loose ball and offload to Tim Russell, who basketball-passed the ball to Joe Carolan, finally getting out of second gear for the first time that day. Still not flat-out, Joe needed the torque of the lower gears to leg-drive his way over the try-line to score. Joe added the extras: 24 – 20.

Hammers just love playing rugby, especially in their own 22, and delicious hands by Jack Watters and Barry (short for Barracuda) Scarr led to a knock-on by Wells well into their half. The scrum led to a period of stalemate for both teams, several minutes of high kicks and phases in the middle of the park. Harry Boyd (joint second fastest winger in the club), now on, galloped forward multiple times, striding into the open space left by the Wells backs, fleeing as the escaped convict he now looks like with his new buzz-cut.

Tunbridge used all of their tactical genius to pick-and-go to the tryline to impose a presence onto the Hammers. They eventually barreled a maul over, and the conversion was good: 24 – 27. The game really hotting up. After the restart, Tunbridge came straight back, relentless carries, smart offloads, and hard lines. The Hammers’ defense was holding out, but they were being slowly driven backward by some impressive phases. Tunbridge battled on, making precious ground with every carry, inch by inch they crept closer to the Hammers line before… HARRY BOYD! Now, when you think of Harry Boyd, you think of raw pace, a clean pair of heels, and dust trailing after him as he approaches MACH 1. Once he had gathered the ball from another Tunbridge knock-on, there was no stopping the inevitable: a 70-meter run down the wing and another try for the flying winger in his debut season for the Hammers. Joe Carolan conversion: 31 – 27.

Surely that was it for the day, and as the skies became gray, so did the outlook for the Hammers. Conceding penalties in their own 22 is not a good way to finish the day, even with outstanding hits from Josh Smith and Ryan Powter. Tunbridge looked to the corner to complete their playbook for the day, a rolling maul led to another forward’s try. It wasn’t particularly beautiful rugby, but it was effective, and the conversion rubbed salt in the wounds of the Hammers: 31 – 34. Final score.

Fair play to a well-drilled Tunbridge Wells team, who kicked skillfully and carried stronger. It was another tough loss for the Hammers to take, but some impressive performances from Harry Boyd, Peter Morris. Scott VB and Harry Scarr also had excellent games up front.

Man of the Match: Harry Boyd

Dick of the Day: Marshall MacLeod

Tries: Tim Russell (x2), Joe Carolan, Scott Van Berckel, Harry Boyd.

Conversions: Joe Carolan (x3)

Hammers overpowered on the road

Saturday 23rd Seotember was a sobering day for the men from Hurlingham, as they went down 41-0 to a tough, physical, cohesive Bracknell side.

On their arrival in Berkshire, Hammers were greeted by dry, warm conditions (which would usually play into their hands as exponents of joue running rugby), but also a pitch that, although in great nick, was suspected to be a few metres narrower than standard.

Hammers started the first half playing up the hill and soon after receiving kick-off it became clear that the narrow pitch had been a clear predictor of Bracknell’s playing style, with their large, aggressive pack picking good, direct lines off 9 and 10 and beginning to making inroads in the Hammers defence. Add to that a well-drilled set piece and strong maul, helped by some sloppy Hammers errors, and Bracknell were able to cross the Hammers whitewash 5 times in the first period. Hammers were disappointed to have started the game too passively, with their line speed in defence not sufficient to knock the home side off their stride and not causing enough disruption at the breakdown to slow their ball. In attack, Hammers lost their shape too frequently and did not keep hold of the ball for long enough to test Bracknell on the edges, where they are typically most threatening. All-in-all, a decidedly sub-par first half meant the Men in Red went into the break trailing 29-0, with it all to do in the second half.

After some calm but stern words in the huddle, Hammers were much improved in the second half, dominating long periods of possession and territory. On the day though they were just not quite clinical enough to make the pressure count on the scoreboard. A second half score of 12-0 to Bracknell flattered them, with a try coming in the dying seconds through the middle of a tiring, hastily re-jigged Hammers defence following some late injuries.

Despite the scoreline, respect must be paid to a couple of the men from SW6. Up-front, Josh Asafu-Adjaye and the timeless Andrew Rogan did not take a backward step all day (scrums excluded!). Kudos also to Toby Hiram, who put in a battling display in the 7 shirt on debut, and Ben Navabi making his debut at the coalface. Finally, best wishes to Max Dugdale on his recovery from a nasty shoulder injury.

All eyes now return to Fortress Hurlingham for a huge game against Marlborough, where Hammers will hope to return to winning ways.

Hammers back on track with a bonus point win!

Week 2 of the season was firmly in the rear-view mirror; the Hammersmith bandwagon couldn’t wait to depart and move onto the next week. Hurlingham, resembling the Serengeti more by the week, welcomed a Maidenhead team, high off the previous weeks victory over Camberley. Opposite fortunes in week 2 but nothing is given in this topsy turvy competition.

New week. New shirts. New Hammers.

Hammersmith and Fulham received the ball to start the game. Immediately deciding to secure ball and exit, moving the play into Maidenhead’s half. Rugby, especially in 26-degree heat, is much easier when you play in the oppositions half. This is where the first 20 minutes were played. Ball possession was retained and pressure applied. Hard lines and big hits ensued as the arm wrestle began.

Hammersmith was first to break the deadlock. Maidenhead this week were tasked with the difficult job of defending a centre channel from Carolan and Jack, both hard and surprisingly fast ball carriers. Off the back of a stable Hammers scrum Dugdale passed the ball to Tim; off his wing running at 10. With the defense’s eyes fixed on the centre channel Tim spotted a hole and turned on the afterburners. With Joe adding the extra 2 points Hammers were up 7-0.

Not content with the one try Hammers, more specifically Tim, had to have a second. The crowd had a front row seat as Tom Proctor rose like a salmon, stealing the opposition’s line out. Ball was distributed out to the wing where the defending winger offered Tim the outside. Worth mentioning at this point Tim’s new addition of felt boots give him an additional 5 points of speed, making him easily the second fastest winger in the club. Anyway, round the outside Tim went and touched the ball down just far enough out to give Carolan a tricky kick which he slotted.

There were points in this half where Hammers were idle in defense the wagon occasionally slipping into neutral; plenty of room for improvement. No doubt Mark Jackson and his coaching team will pull some more drills out of the catalogue to sharpen breakdown, tackling or defensive skills in the following week.

While I could recount the following 3 tries for hammers, it could be a bit repetitive, and the backs heads would be at risk of over-inflating. A special mention however should go to the Nugget, who dusted off the boots and earned himself another first team cap. What Nugget lacks in mobility and neck he makes up for with scrum height, providing a strong scrum platform for the time he was on the pitch. Before the match he was quoted saying “Rogan will have to play 3 more years to be the oldest cap for the club”. After the match he was lost for words… and breath… or both.

Man of the match goes to one of our new Aussie imports Ryan. While we don’t actively recruit to the extent other teams in Level 5 do, we never struggle to attract quality talent from Australia. Some we can’t seem to get rid of… Ryan led the charge in defense tackling just about anything that moved, a quality performance to defend fortress Hurlingham. Next stop for the Hammers wagon: Bracknell.

Hammers 2s open their season in a thriller!

Saturday. A Rugby day. Ushered in by perhaps the last of the summer sun, the Bastard 2’s rocked up to Hurlingham Park before and after the allotted meet time, Fulham v Luton is a recipe for disaster on New Kings Road…

It had been a long road to this moment, the 2nd XV boys having started their preseason off two months prior. The season before had ended in both a bang and a whimper, the oppo crying off for our last game of the season and allowing us to get on the beers and watch the 1’s win theirs at Windsor. After 8 weeks of Ian making us run, crawl, turn and stretch our hip flexors to within an inch of their lives, the boys were up for an actual game of rugby on an actual rugby pitch.

26 degrees, dry pitch, not a cloud in the sky. Your author was preparing himself for a game of rugby how it was intended to be played. Fast flowing, running rugby, but boy was I wrong. One up rugby, pick and go’s from the 22, and countless handling errors. You could have been forgiven for thinking it was the middle of February at a boggy wet Hurlingham.

The 2’s started brightly with plenty of intent, but forcing the issue when speculative offloads were not on and sloppy handling errors hamstrung us over the first half. A silly penalty and some soft defence allowed Maidenhead over the line first to open the scoring. Conversion missed. Shortly after Max kicked a penalty to keep us in touching distance. The rest of the half went by in the following fashion:

Make Break

Make Mistake


For about 20 minutes until on the stroke of halftime Josh AA our Winger-turned-Flanker-turned-Winger-again-but-sometimes-Flanker, forced a superb penalty on the opposition 5 which Ross took quickly and popped out to Fergal who had a simple finish in the corner. Conversion missed. HT 8-5 Hammers.

The 2nd half picked up on the action but the theme of the game remained the same. Hammers showed promise in their build-up play but coughed it up when things were looking good. Maidenhead scored back to back tries through more crashing and pick and going. 8-15. Hammers hit back through debutant Oscar after some quick hands from Max and Ollie allowed Oscar to run in untouched. Conversion missed. 13-15. FINALLY, with 15 mins to go the backs managed to execute a set play, with Ollie feeding captain Mad Dog with a brilliant delayed pass allowing him to streak through, beat a defender and score. Max woke up again and decided to make his conversion. 20-15.

Maidenhead responded again with a try of their own through yet another scintillatingly boring passage of rugby. 1 up crash, pick and go CTRL + C, CTRL + V. Their 3rd kicker of the day managing to finally slot one. 20-22.

With about 5 mins on the clock Max kicked a penalty to put us back in front, with an uncomfortably slender advantage going into the last knockings of the game, 23-22. Hammers gave away an ugly penalty, and their kicker definitely kicked it dead over the try line, only for the ref to call it back to be kicked again because Maidenhead decided they wouldn’t have anyone running the line from their side and it was ‘The fairest way to do it’. Maidenhead’s maul had been causing us problems all day but Hammers managed to stop the drive and keep the Maidenhead pick and go’s at bay long enough to win a penalty for holding on as the clock went red.

All in all a lot to work on, but a lot to be proud of. Defence under the pump when it mattered most was superb.

MOTM – Toby, great performance on the flank, strong in the tackle and great work rate. Debut as well? Show off..

DOTD – Anton, if you know the GIF from The Simpsons of Homers dad coming into Moe’s and leaving straight away, this was kind of like that. Came on, straight into a scrum, hurt his arm in said scrum and came off. All in the name of a free pint.

Also a bit shoutout to recently retired former Nat 1 Sensation Ben Hatton, for giving up his free time from inspiring the future generations at his Primary School, to coach the Bastard 2’s whilst Nugget was off playing Semi Pro ruggers.

One of the more forgettable games of rugby, yet somehow still more exciting than watching England kick aimlessly for 60 minutes on Sunday.

Every unbeaten campaign starts with a win….onto the next.

Hammers humbled at Kings House

A weekend to forget for Hammers, despite the late summer sun. An away trip to local rivals CS Stags looked an enticing prospect, following on from last week’s success against London Welsh and the boys were looking to build on that momentum.

The Hammers were quickly reminded of the challenges that they face at Level 5 as Stags put together a dominant performance from start to finish. An encouraging opening 10 minutes, highlighting Hammers ability to stretch the opposition was dampened by unforced errors and aggressive defense from Stags. Their relentless ability go get over the game line combined with speed of ball kept Hammers on the back foot, resulting in a flurry of first-half tries, crossed over from out wide.

The one way service was briefly halted via an interception from Tim Russell, scoring his 4th try in 2 games. It heralded a small sign of life, and was shortly followed by an entrenched period within the 22, however the Hammers proved their own worst enemy, with unforced errors and continuous penalties letting the Stags off the hook. The second-half offered Hammers an opportunity to build press the reset button, but Stags resumed their grip on the game, with a strong set-piece offering the perfect platform for their backs to punch holes in the Hammers backline when faced with lackluster line speed.

A final score of 57-7 was a humbling one for Hammers, but a result that would be sure to light a fire under the boys in preparation for their next home fixture against Maidenhead. 2 games down. 1 win, 1 loss, with all teams bar 1 having a loss against their name. This league looks set to be wide open, but the boys must respond.

Hammers open their season with a blinder!

And so the day had arrived! Derby Day! Hammersmith & Fulham Vs London Welsh!

London Welsh kicked off and straight away Hammers were under pressure, the first 5 minutes were camped in the home sides 22 and only some strong defense kept the visitors at bay. This strong defense proved fruitful for Hammersmith as a loose pass from the Welsh’s fly half was hacked through by Harry Boyd and the 2nd fastest winger on the pitch collected his own kick and ran under the sticks. Converted by Joe Carolan.

After another clean take from kick off, Joe Carolan cleared the ball deep into Welsh’s half with the fullback knocking the ball forward. It was the first bit of pressure Hammer’s could put on; however, the scrum was turned over and the pressure was straight back on the home side. Constant penalties were not helping hammers and after 10 minutes of further pressure scoring. Conversion missed. The penalties continued after kick off and it wasn’t long before Welsh were back camped on Hammer’s line, which proved costly as after some slick offloading rugby saw them gain their 2nd score. Converted by Welsh to make it 7-12. In the period of penalties, Hammersmith’s number 12 Jack Watters was shown yellow.

As Hammersmith kicked off it was time for them to apply some pressure to the away side. After some swift hands from the hammer’s backline, Tim Russell was away up the wing only to be stopped by a high tackle from the Welsh fullback, who was shown a yellow card. Carolan put the ball deep into the Welsh 22 and for the first time in the match Hammersmith were in a solid attacking position. After a clean win in the lineout from Zander Stephens, the maul started rumbling forwards with Andrew Rogan breaking off and diving for the line, however, he was held up and Welsh could clear their lines.

After an extensive period of back and forth, half time was quickly approaching, but after some good passing down the line from the Hammer’s on Welsh’s 22-meter line, the ball ended up in the hands of Tim Russell once more. This proved to be bad news for Welsh as Russell put through an inch perfect grubber which he collected and dived over the line for Hammer’s 2nd try. Carolan converted and the score stood at 14-12. Hammer’s weren’t finished there, the ball was kicked off and taken well by Spicer who carried into the defense and the ruck was set up. The ball was then given to Will Donegan who tipped the ball to Scott Van Berckel, who like a hot knife through butter, broke through the line and he was away, with the Welsh defense catching Scott he tipped the ball to Tim Russell who once again sprinted under the sticks to score Hammer’s 3 try. Carolan Converted, 21-12.

With only 1 minute left on the clock of the first half, Hammer’s conceded a penalty straight from kick off, which led to Welsh deciding to have a shot at the posts which was successful. First half score 21-15.

Carolan kicked off for the 2nd half with Welsh taking cleanly and clearing their lines, Scarr received the ball deep in Hammer’s half and quickly threw it wide to Marshall Macleod who made good ground before being taken down, the ball was quickly spun wide and some scintillating hands from the back line sent Carolan away up the left wing, with the Welsh defense scrambling all he had to do was tip the ball inside to Harry Boyd who ran away under the posts for his 2nd and Hammer’s 4th. Converted by Carolan, 28-15.

As the 2nd half progressed, Hammer’s piled on the pressure with most of the play taking place in Welsh’s half, only ill discipline kept Welsh in it. Hammers brought on some fresh legs with 30 minutes to go, Scarr replaced by Ed Haines, Zak Underwood back on in the front row and Paddy off for Ben Dugdale.

The game started to open up as boys got tired, with both Welsh and Hammersmith breaking the defense on numerous occasions. However, no team could find the pivotal score. With the minutes ticking by and Welsh becoming more and more frustrated, it was Hammers who were next to strike. London Welsh had made good progress into the home sides 22 and looked like they were going to close the deficit, however, Harry Boyd had other ideas, he intercepted a welsh pass on the 5 meter line and stormed up the wing, he didn’t quite have the legs but with an exceptional pass inside he found Tim who finished it off for his hattrick. Converted by Carolan, 35-15.

With the game looking all but over, Hammersmith were not letting off, winning a scrum penalty in front of the sticks for Carolan to slot an easy 3 points. Score 38-15. London Welsh had the last laugh with a final try but it was to no avail. Hammersmith & Fulham win 38-20.

What a game and what a start to the season. Roll on!

Hammers Women sit top-of-the-table!

The final fun bus of the season was upon us. And the last fun bus needed to be an epic journey, so the Hammers 1XV made their way down to Canterbury to face an unfamiliar team. Due to flooded pitches earlier in the season, this was the first time the two teams were facing off against each other. Although Canterbury are low in the rankings this is a very competitive league so we knew we would need a strong performance to get the bonus point win we wanted.
The wind was blowing hard from one end of the pitch to the other and Canterbury had the benefit of the wind in the first half, using it to their advantage with the boot of their 10. Hammers made the first big break through Sirri but Canterbury set the tone early with their ruck work getting the turnover. This pressure on the ruck was maintained by Caterbury for most of the first half. Despite this pressure, strong runs from the forwards started to pull their defence in and a lovely line from Lara put her under the posts for the first score of the game to make it 0-7. Despite good carries from Hammers at the restart, a Canterbury jackal earned them a kickable penalty to make it 3-7. Canterbury kept up the pressure and some Hammers ill-discipline saw a penalty on our 5-metre line. The Hammers defence held firm though and pushed Canterbury all the way back to the 22. Another penalty to Canterbury led to another kick to make it 6-7. Our heads didn’t drop and we went right back at them. Strong forwards carries in their 22 got us to within inches of the line before Kaye drove over the line. 6-12. Despite some more nice running from Hammers we gave away another penalty for holding on which Canterbury again kicked to make it 9-12 at half time.
In the second half Hammers had the wind but were playing uphill. We started to put significant pressure on their set piece, disrupting their lineout and marching the scrum backwards. Quick tap penalties put the Canterbury defence under pressure and their discipline started to slip. After two high tackles in quick succession, a third infringement saw them go down a player for 10 minutes. Kaye sensed this as her opportunity to become top try scorer and took another hard carry to crash over the line 9-19. Hammers kept hunting for that bonus point score with Steffy making a great break down the wing to get within 5 metres of the line. We kept the pressure up in their half until Tappers completed the bonus point score with a classic pick and go drop over the line 9-24. Canterbury weren’t disheartened and continued fighting, using their kicking game to their advantage. A kick in behind our defensive line with good pressure from their support runners led to a loose ball on our try line which Canterbury immediately scooped up and scored. 16-24. Hammers defence held firm after this to see out the end of the game. There was a little confusion in the final seconds but Alex booted the ball to touch to confirm the Hammers bonus point win. Final score 16-24.
Forward of the match: Kate Phillips
Back of the match: Aly Heine
Coaches player: Kaye Selby

Hammers 1st XV women put in dominant performance against Guildford!

After weeks of seeing the 2XV head off of fun buses around the country, it was finally the turn of the 1XV to turn up early to the Eight Bells for their own coach trip. This time we were heading to Guildford to face one of the new teams in the league this year. It had been a scrappy battle when we faced them at home, with Hammers coming out victorious. It was now our chance to complete the set with an away win.
It was quite a windy – although fairly sunny – day when Hammers reached Guildford. The game started off with high intensity, the first few carries and tackles showing that this was going to be a very physical game from both teams. Hammers got the early momentum with hard forwards carries and solid set piece work carrying us into the Guildford 22. Amy saw her opportunity when Guildford gave away a penalty on the 5 metre line for a quick tap and go to score a classic 9 try. 0-5. Hammers continued to bring the pressure, working their way back into the opposition 22 from the restart. Again, hard carries from the forwards pulled the Guildford defense in narrow and the backs were able to exploit the space with Lara stepping across from short range to score under the posts. 0-12. It was Kaye’s turn to make it on to the scoreboard next, showing why she’s been put in the back line, smashing through the defense with a lovely inside ball from Alex W. 0-19. The home side were not discouraged, however, and came back fighting. Hammers put on a superb defensive effort in our 22. Through 9/10 phases of Guildford attack the defense stayed strong and eventually forced the error. Hammers regouped, worked up the pitch and back into the Guildford 22. A strong driving maul from the lineout made good metres before quick hands from the backs allowed Chloe E to dive through on the wing. 0-26. Guildford kept fighting and their hard carries combined with a couple of penalties took them into the Hammers 22. A penalty at the maul gave the opportunity for a quick tap and go score. 5-26.  Half Time.
The second half began as a bit of an arm wrestle, with both teams working to get the upper hand after the break. Despite a long session camped in the Guildford 22, Hammers came away without a score and were soon under pressure in our own 22. Hammers defense stayed strong and Lara read the defense perfectly to grab an intercept and sprint under the posts from within our own 22, despite the best efforts at a tap tackle from the Guildford defense. 5-33. Guildford came straight back, however, exploiting mistakes and some ill-discipline to score 2 quick tries to try and change the momentum of the game. 17-33. It wasn’t to be for Guildford, however, as Hammers fought back from pressure within their own 22. Turnover ball from a Guildford attack allowed forwards to make some hard carries and once again create space out wide. Quick ball set Rachel free for a 50 metre sprint up the touch line to fix the full back before making a lovely offload to Kaye for the final score of the game 17-40.
Forward of the Match – Livvy 
Back of the Match – Amy
Coach’s Player – Kaye