Hammers play an absolute belter to see out their premiership-winning season!

21 games down.  17 wins.  92 points.  1 game left. 1 win more. 5 points the target, and then the 2022/23 season – only the club’s second at Level 6, the league-formerly-known-as-London 1- would be done.  And if the stars aligned, if they played like they knew they could, (and even if they didn’t, as long as their defence held Belsize Park to less than 60 tries), they would be champions, and on their way to Level 5.

Time is a funny thing.  How it can seem to both drag its feet yet fly-by at the same time.  As the boys took the field that clear Thursday night under lights at Chiswick, they felt that dichotomy.  Because in that moment, they were standing at the end of a journey that had started the previous July – an age in one sense, but the blink of an eye in another…

Had it really been 8 months ago that they had been sweating and swearing their way to The Swings and back? Were those memories of rucking and retching around the Red Tree just a dream? Head Coach Mark Jackson’s road to victory built on a bedrock of Ian Burbidge’s fitness had helped bring them to this moment, but it had been a brutal pre-season.  Time had certainly slowed down during those dark times, especially for the front rows of Rogan, Ed Wynne, Scotty B, Jacob Poulton (when not quail hunting) and Ricky D (when not on dates).  Welcome later arrivals Zac Underwood and Will Donegan had missed out on that summer agony and beefed up the front row stocks, but all had scrummed, lifted and tackled their way through the intervening months to this final kick-off.  Zac, Scotty B and Rogan backed up by Ed were in the forward trenches today, but what awaited them?

A Belsize Park side that didn’t give a damn for sentiment, or quaint notions of “champions”.  They were here to play, and they went at it from the off.

The whistle pierces the night air.  Talisman Dr Steve John takes the kick off, only to be swallowed up by the aggressive Belsize Park forwards like an emergency room doctor swallowing caffeine.  Ben Dugdale executes a well-placed box-kick to get the boys out of the 22 only to find an energetic Belsize back three who immediately run back down the 15 channel. What follows is a period of direct, varied running by the sizeable Belsize Pack creating opportunities.  It doesn’t take long before an overlap down the blind side opens a clear path to the Hammers try line, only for their winger to fall desperately short.  Pick-and-goes follow, before Belsize finally crosses to open their account. 7-0.

The boys were in a fight.  Had it really been 4 months since their 10-game winning streak had been brought to an agonising end against Amersham and Chiltern? They had lost some of their aura that day but none of their heart.  And tonight, there weren’t here to win it on for-and-against – this was about showing they were champions. This wasn’t about panicking, it was about intent.

And intent they showed.  An aggressive restart chase put the game in Belsize’s half.  Phases followed and a few set pieces where the boys didn’t allow Belsize a way out.  Playing edge to edge the Hammers fought their way into the Belsize 22.  Penalty, Hammers.  A kick to the corner, but the opportunity is missed thanks to a wayward throw-in to the tailgunner and Master-of-Clocks Alex Hart.  A messy Belsize scrum saw their 9 knock it on the Belsize 5 meter – Hammers feed.  The Hammers scrum? Rock steady, all 8 pushing as-one, and giving Dugdale a training-ground like platform.  His pass found the willing hands of Tim “Le Snack” Russell, who breezed through a gap between the Belsize defenders.  That’s more like it boys – 7-7.

Now, it is well known that as well as the Temperance Pub and The Fez’s foggy dance floor, a Hammers natural home is the sacred and holy fortress of Hurlingham Park.  What is less well-known though is that Hammers have a holiday home made of 4G, and when the Hammers visit there, it means one thing – pace.

Had it really been only 3 months since their turgid 7-5 victory over Fullerians on a narrow soggy pitch? Those memories were far away, with the Hammers putting the foot down, going edge-to-edge and showing why they are top of the league.  From the centre line, Marshall McCloud’s silky hands in the 10 channel found the speed merchant that is Matt Killeen. Fixing the defenders with his fancy feet, Killeen’s pass found Bryce “Bruce” Morgan, who drew in his man and offloaded into the tackle to Le Snack, dancing his way up the 15 channel before being brought down inside the 22.  A quick ruck and change-of-direction followed, with a double jack-hit up making its way to Scotty B in front of the posts.  The 1-second ruck allowed Dugdale scoop up the ball and pass to McCloud, who then threw a 3 man cut-out pass to Bryce – now-opposite side of the pitch – who scored in the corner! The entre passage of play took less than 20 seconds! The conversion through the posts: 7-12.

Half-time.  The boys felt on top, but there was no taking Belsize for granted. They had been physical, direct and playing like they had nothing to lose, with a 10 not afraid to spread it around an outside backs keen to run it.  Hammers had built a reputation as a second half team – would it hold?

Belsize restart, a Belsize penalty, Belsize line-out.  Tom Proctor wasn’t having it though – the Belsize throw to the middle was spoiled by our Lambrini dodging 2nd row/back 6.  Quick ball followed – Dudgale, to Marshall, Marshall leading points-scorer and captain Joe Carolan; Joe out the back, hands to Bryce – 40 meters up the 15 meter channel finished off with a chip, scooped up by red shirts score to score in the corner! And followed by an unbelievable sideline conversion by captain and RFU leading-points scorer Joe Carolan! 19-7.

The taps were open and the Rugby started flowing, but unlike and IPA this didn’t leave a bad taste in the mouth.  The coaches began to bring bench in.  Dark horse and lover-of-inside passes Ollie Weaver came on for Marshall, and playing behind a pack powered by the hard running Alex Spicer, Josh Smith and Harty, the boys were unplayable, even when things weren’t working.  A Hammers line-out on the Belsize 40 meter line misfires, only to be scooped up by “I-don’t-play-more-than-10 minutes” Zac.  Phase.  Dugale to forward Harty, Harty out the back to Ollie takes the ball to the line drawing in the defenders….silky inside ball to Tim Russell who runs it from the halfway!! What a try!  Joe coverts! 26-7 and the bonus point!

10 minutes of graft followed, Belsize determine to retain the ball no matte what the field position and run it – fair play.  Visits to the Hammers half were few and fair between however, aided by Joe’s cannon of a leg and a determined to play the Rugby in all the right places. Eventually, a Belsize maul penalty on their 10 meter led to Tom Proctor electing to take the scrum, aided by the non-inconsiderable mass of Ed “Tiny” Wynne (on for a bruised Rogan).  From the scrum Ollie found the hands of Joe Carolan who crossed for a regulation try under the posts and to take it to 33-7. 

Had it really it been only 4 weeks since this team had been beaten by an up-for-it Cobham?  Unshackled, the boys open up.  A scrum from a Belsize handling error on the 40 meter mark say Dr Steve John pick from the base of the ruck and open up the Belsize defence like a surgeon cracking a chest.  Tackled, he offloaded to Tom Proctor who barged up the centre of the pack and bounced the Belsize 10 as though a Tsunami sweeping away a sea-side village.  Brought down eventually, a Belsize backrow got over the ball and won the turnover penalty, however for reasons that remain unclear, Belsize chose to scrum…inside their own 22…



Some would say reckless.

Tough phases followed, Belsize grinding their way up the pitch and eventually into the Hammers 22.  Well played men-in-purple, well-played.  Making their way to the Hammers line, the desperate Belsize attack was held up, Joe’s drop kick getting the Hammers out of trouble.  Belsize had a sniff of continuity and started to spread the ball…OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS? IT’S TIM RUSSELL ON THE TRADE MARK INTERCEPT YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME, SCORE UNDER THE POSTS 40-7

Time was ticking down, There was no puffing, no hands-on-knees.  Niggles were forgotten and errors forgiven. The boys just wanted to play, running it from everywhere. This is why you play Rugby.  The highs beat the lows…highs like seeing Matt Killeen sprint it out from inside the Hammers 22 down the try line…beat one defender, inside step another…over the 50…brush the Belsize fullback…cross the Belsize try line….

…and lows like seeing Matt being pulled back for apparently stepping out of the line, denied the last try of the regular season, as the referee calls the game over.

Had it really been 80 minutes? Had the boys really played 22 games, won 18, and won the league? Had fewer than 40 men taken the field every Saturday, put their bodies on the line for their mates and their club, and taken Hammersmith & Fulham RFC into level 5, their highest position ever in the RFU pyramid? Had they worked together, sweated together, bled together, to achieve what so few will ever do in their Rugby careers, and win promotion?

Yes.  Yes we bloody well did.

What a team.  What a season. What a club.








Up the Bastard 2s!!!

So after being pasted 76-0 at home by London Kiwis, Old Streetonians pulled out of the game on Thursday morning handing us the league. Yes, you heard that right, the Bastard 2s have won the league!!

The early cancellation of the game did however provide us with time to arrange a celebratory lunch for us all to regale in stories from the season and offer each other well earned congratulations. So, Captain Fantastic, James Lalor set about organising a pub and the Bastard 2s headed down to The George in Windsor in full number 1s to fill their bellies with beer and burgers before cheering on the 1s in their quest to bring home their league against bottom of the table Windsor RFC.

This “Lunch Report” is therefore a celebration of all the good we did this season. It started with some of the usual fines allotted out to help lubricate us before our burgers, fish and chips and Ben Osgood’s ham and eggs arrived which was then swiftly followed by an informal awards ceremony where some top quality medals being handed out to the lucky winners. This season’s winners are:

Top Try scorer

This was rather unsurprisingly done first as it was James Lalor and he wanted to give himself the first medal… 12 tries in all across the season, not a bad shift even if a few of those came off the back of our (mostly mine) excellent scrummaging.

Top Points Scorer

Another unsurprising one as this went to the walkovers! We had 6 in total which is a tad depressing… let’s hope rugby picks up again even if the RFU are trying their best to push even more players out of the game. I suppose if we have to give it to a player then we could give it to Max Dugdale who scored 45 out of 59 conversions (and I think some tries) which at 76% means he’s far better than Owen Farrell in an England shirt!

Best Try

Quite a few contenders for this given some of the joué we’ve played this year but a clear winner for George Nellany’s screamer against Rosslyn Park (don’t remember which one) where he went from one corner to the opposite burning up the plastic turf along the way.

Moment of the season

This one was easy… Josh Asafu-Adjaye got it for scoring in the 84th minute against Belsize Park and effectively winning the league for us. Incredible moment that sent the whole of Regent’s Park into raptures. He even managed to keep hold of his kit at the end of the night this time!

Dick of the season

Tough category this one… special mentions go to Matt Smitherman for always being late, Cookie for submitting the score late and costing us a point and of course the Dugdales for, well, being Dugdales. But the winner had to be Dougy Maxwell for not putting the ball down over the try line against Cornish which could’ve sealed the league a week early.

Best Alacadoo

Ben Osgood for his ever present beer, gilet and tour blazer combo. A fair better look than his pink rugby boots…

Best Twins

The Vaughans of course, very little competition on this one after all 😉

Best Coach

Special mention has to go to Nugget who managed to win 2 leagues in one weekend but no one can match Huw Parks and his two games in the coach’s jacket.

Best Injury

Another tough category with nominations including James Maddigan getting hit in the plumbs, Ben Osgood’s concussion, Huw Parks’ concussion, Max Dugdale’s concussion, Dylan Bliski’s concussion (the RFU might be onto something…) but the winner had to be Sandy Duncan for getting sniped in the hamstring as he was running through to score in the only game where we were nilled this season. Really could’ve done with that try just for a bit of pride.

The Good Egg prize

Given for always bringing his speaker, grabbing the kit, water bottles, med bag, warming the bench when he didn’t want to and many other things that just generally go unnoticed, including writing excellent match reports, this went to two time try scorer in the season (5 tries if you count all the push over scrums that Ash or Lalor pinched) Rob McKeon.

Rig of the Year

Hotly contested (p

un intended) between a couple of lads in the backs but the award went to James Maddigan narrowly edging out George Nellany. Every front rower who played this season was gracious enough to concede this one so the backs could win it for once.

And finally the highest award of the day: Most Improved

There could only be one contender for this given he’s now a fully-fledged member of the front row; Ash Mitchell who celebrated by stealing a dog, classic Ash! He’ll be up for the award next year too if he manages to hit some lineouts. Hopefully he improves his haircuts but that might be a stretch…

Well-deserved lads, some of the rugby we’ve played this year has been truly special. With new jewellery adorned and the stomachs replete the Bastard 2s had a bit of a sing along in the pub to Country Roads and We Are The Champions before heading over to watch the 1s play in the shadow of Windsor Castle. What a beautiful backdrop for a spot of rugby and the sun came out to make the photos look even better. I won’t provide a report on the 1s game, not just because I was too drunk to remember it, but because I was paying more attention to the hymn sheet than the game so head over to the website to get the lowdown. SPOILER ALERT they won, so we went to the bar to watch the 6 nations and make it well known to all at Windsor RFC that the Bastard 2s were champions.

The best moment of the day however came shortly after Windsor’s live music act offered us a rendition of Country Roads when Steve Harris, in nought but his Oddballs Budgie Smugglers, sprinted through the bar to grab us and tell us to get in the changing room because the 1s had won the league! Cue utter pandemonium as 50 odd piled in together to create a lifelong memory which even the copious amounts of beer we were about to drink couldn’t dull. What an incredible moment for the club and great reward for all of us who poured our heart and souls into season. We celebrated long into the night with multiple pubs visited in Windsor (I can’t remember which one didn’t serve us) before shoe-ys on the train from Captain Joe’s boot and a couple of stops on the way back to the Temperance. Someone else will have to fill you in on what happened in the Durell or Le Fez as I had headed home by that point!

What a day, what a night, what a weekend… what a time to be a Hammer. I’ll sign off for the year in the words of the great Ross Anderson “It’s good to be good, but it’s fucking great to be great!” Up the Bastard 2s


It truly was a squad effort so I thought it would be a nice gesture to list all of the 70+ lads who played for the team this year:

Adam Crompton Cyprien Dumont Jack Hooper Milo Story
Adam Howell Dan Arase Jack MacGregor Pete Clark
Adam Stannard Dan Gispert Jake Cheetham Rich Vaughan
Ainsley Howard Dan Whitaker Jake Sopher Richard Moon
Alexander Chong Kwan Doug Maxwell James Lalor Rob McKeon
Alfie Clouston Dylan Bliski James Lo Rob Vaughan
Andrew Rogan Ed Farrer James Maddigan Robbie Murdoch
Ash Mitchell Ed Wynne Jamie Grist Rory Gibson
Ben Dugdale Fergus Macmillan Josh Asafu-Adjaye Rory Nichol
Ben Hatton George Nellany Logan Collins Ross Anderson
Ben Hibberd Gethin Bugler Marshall Macleod Sam Monkley
Ben Navavi Hadyn Gouldie Mart Oomen Sandy Duncan
Ben Osborne Harrison Moy Matt Newman Scott Van Berckell
Bryce Morgan Harry Brace Matt Smitherman Will Donegan
Charlie Keane Hugh Symons Matthew Jones Will Parker
Chris Ralph Huw Parks Max Dugdale Zak Underwood
Connor Sprutz Jack Bonner Mike Cook Zander Stephen
Conor Burke Jack Costello Ollie Weaver



Full list of Results:

Home Score Away
Hammersmith & Fulham II HWO Old Streetonians II
Hammersmith & Fulham II 24 – 33 New Zealand Kiwis
London Cornish 2nd XV AWO Hammersmith & Fulham II
Hammersmith & Fulham II HWO Old Haberdashers 2nd XV
Rosslyn Park 4th XV 7 – 24 Hammersmith & Fulham II
Hammersmith & Fulham II 57 – 14 Belsize Park II
H.A.C II 18 – 13 Hammersmith & Fulham II
Hammersmith & Fulham II HWO London Welsh Druids
Rosslyn Park Bs 22 – 44 Hammersmith & Fulham II
New Zealand Kiwis 17 – 43 Hammersmith & Fulham II
Old Haberdashers 2nd XV AWO Hammersmith & Fulham II
Hammersmith & Fulham II 60 – 27 Rosslyn Park 4th XV
Belsize Park II 36 – 37 Hammersmith & Fulham II
Hammersmith & Fulham II 49 – 19 H.A.C II
London Welsh Druids 19 – 15 Hammersmith & Fulham II
Hammersmith & Fulham II 38 – 8 London Cornish 2nd XV
Hammersmith & Fulham II 18 – 5 Rosslyn Park Bs
Old Streetonians II AWO Hammersmith & Fulham II



Hammers leave it to the last second!

I, Ben Hatton, start this match report thinking its going to be quite Canadian in its content, as it will be based around two apologies. Let’s kick things off though with the first; I am rubbish at remembering events. Piled onto this the fact is that I didn’t know I was going to be doing this meant that I took no notes of what happened. So if I miss that moment of delicious ruggers that you’ve been drooling over for the past few days, I can only apologise.

Windsor were the opposition on a brisk yet bright Spring day, and the boys arrived knowing that nothing but a bonus point win would be acceptable. The “Bastard 2s” also made the trip down to provide amazing, vocal, and well-lubricated support from the sidelines. Their hooker loved every minute… Mark unfortunately was away but the delectable ‘Le Nuge’ and the incomparable Stephen Organised Fun” Harris were there to look after the lads.

After a strong warm up the boys played into the wind in the first half, but soon found it tough going. Handling errors mixed with a little indiscipline meant that the Hammers spent much of the opening stanza penned in, but some solid defence kept Windsor’s respectable attack at bay. Eventually from a kick return, the ball was thrown wide. ‘Tim Tim oh my Tim’ hit a beautiful line on the switch and scythed through the defence like an inconspicuous iguana. Easy conversion from ‘Carolaña’ and Hammers went into halftime 7-0 up.

Straight after the second half started Hammers scored again, with ‘señorita Carolaña’ getting the offload away to Tim ‘Le Snack’ Russell who drew in the 15 and put in ‘my head’s full of Bryce’ who dotted down. Unfortunately, Hammers got complacent – Windsor came straight back at the boys and banged away on the Hammers try line.  More penalties resulted, with the boys deeply frustrated that even when they strung together a sexy bit of play, unforced errors led to needless yards lost through indiscipline.  Eventually, Windsor fought their way over.  Well-played.

The Hammers then started to lose their heads and make the challenge of reaching 4 try target much harder to achieve. ‘Tickle that Zak’ got a team yellow for not rolling away, despite his protestations about being held in and couldn’t move.  He was followed by ‘Tinn Russell’ got a yellow for making a poor attempt at the high tackle.

At this point it dawned on our heroes that if they had any notions of getting promoted, they’d have to dig in, and dig in they did.  Against the run of play, the next score came from ‘great Scott!’ (Back to the Future reference), capitalising off the back of some powerful forward work and a scrum that was making meters.  Twas, beautiful forward-dominated rugby, with good hands and forward momentum, backed by a vociferous hammer crowd.

At this point, ‘Zak Efron’ returned to the field after his yellow, only to see his team mate, Bryce “Bruce” Morgan getting filled in by Windsor’s 7 foot tall 9.  Zac decides to save him, throws a few handbags, only to receive his second yellow of the game, racking up an impressive 9 minutes of game time. Hey ho, that’s rugby isn’t it?

The boys were now in a race against the clock – 14 men on, 4 minutes left, 1 try needed to get the must-win bonus point.  Windsor played conservatively and kept the ball under their jumpers, and had that pattern continued they would’ve prevented our heroes prevailing – but wait…

Dr Steve “Do I tell you I’m a doctor?” John….

Yes, the talisman had returned after his self-imposed exile.  A little smaller, a little flabbier in certain places, replete with his usual average banta, but no one can get a turn over like Steve John.  And he came through like the master proctologist he is – getting his hands in the tight spaces and manhandling the ball until Windsor relented and gave it up.

The boys were on, but they were in their own 22 – any error or kick to touch would see the game end.  So they kept it alive.  Powerful runs from Spicer and Harty up the middle battered their way over the Windsor line.  Inches, then meters gained. Desperate hands from Pete Morris and thundering clears from Poulton…more inches…more meters…the boys fought their way into the 22 but they were starting to flag after 80+ minutes…could they get that score…

Step forth “In Joe we trust” Carolan.  Shaking not one, not two, but three defenders, the RFU’s almost-leading try scorer broke through the Windsor defence and scooted under the posts to get the bonus point and effectively win us the league! Cue fireworks, cue tears of joy, cue lots of sweaty jumping :). Massive thanks to the Bastard 2’s for making such an unbelievable atmosphere.

Final score: 26-7 W

MOTM: Alex Spicer,

DOTD: Zak Underwood


Hammers Women’s 1st XV razzle and dazzle against Medway

The sun was shining down on us last Sunday as we welcomed Medway to Fortress Hurlingham. A beautiful day to be playing rugby (unless you’re in the front row).

Things got off to a flying start straight from kick off with Hammers receiving and setting up strong carries to take us out of our 22 immediately. The forwards went through their phases, driving Medway back and pulling the defence in. Alex W then unleashed the back line with quick hands setting Jess free to speed down the wing for the first try of the match 5-0. Hammers kept the pressure up, carrying hard into the Medway 22 and putting them under pressure at the set piece. A lovely cross-field kick from Alex W from a scrum on the Medway 5 metre caught their wingers napping and Jess dotted down her second in the corner 10-0. As Medway started to struggle with injuries, the tries kept coming for Hammers. Another wonderfully weighted kick from Alex put Jess under the posts again for an excellent hattrick 150Chloe E was the next to get in on the scoring when a clearance kick from Medway went straight to Alex. Chloe E then put on the gas and outpaced the chasing Medway defence 22-0. The next score was also a lovely piece of backs play from a line out with hard lines fixing the Medway defence before a perfectly timed pass from Ellie H-P put Sally away to score under the posts 29-0. Finally a forward scored with Kaye bursting through the Medway defence and over the whitewash 36-0. Half-time.

With Medway rapidly losing players and having no replacements, it was agreed that we would play 10s for 20 minutes after halftime to take us to the 60 minute mark so the match would stand. Switching to 10s and the wonderful sunshine started to create a summer festival atmosphere – all that was missing was the beer instead of water breaks. Both teams took advantage of the extra space, scoring twice each to make the final 20 minutes a draw. Tara cut through the Medway defence with a lovely line and Amy D scored a classic 9 try with a quick tap and go from a penalty. 50-12 final score.

First a big thank you for Medway for coming down with 15 players and making a good game of it. A great performance for all involved – it was awesome to see so many players pulling on the 1s jersey for the first time this season and everyone made a great contribution to the match. It was a backs scoring day but it was a team performance with the hard work of the forwards creating that space out wide. All our hard work paying off, as the phases came together nicely this week. Let’s keep it up as we face up against Battersea this weekend.

Forward of the match – Georgie Colling

Back of the match – Jess Sass

Super Sub – Amy DufF


Hammers emerge victorious in local derby!

Saturday afternoon was off to a confusing start in Hammersmith. Cries of “outrageous” were heard as Ian came to terms with warming up on a cone-less pitch; and rumor has it Alex Hart even turned up on time. Sadly, the VEO didn’t capture Ian’s warm-up withdrawal symptoms, but it did capture a beautiful kick for territory from Joe Carolan to start the game and set us up strongly in the opposition half.

Life is usually easier when you are playing in the opposition’s half of the pitch… but here at Hurlingham we don’t like an easy life. Hammers were doing their best to make life difficult. Quick successions of penalties and a lack of discipline had allowed Cornish to proceed down the field one chunk at a time.

It was back and forwards in the first half. Cornish were first to put points on the board, after an attritional period of mauling and forward carries eventually breaking the line. Hammersmith then swiftly answered back with the first of Joe Carolan’s tries, never underestimate the man who J Lo called “sneakily fast”. Hammersmith’s defense was once again tested with some strong direct carriers for Cornish’s second try. There was a suggestion that one of the Cornish players was blocking the tackler and accidentally offside. Having reviewed the VEO footage this was inconclusive…

Ross, who can usually be relied on for a kick up the metaphorical backside, was a little more subdued and quieter than usual. The colour had been drained from his, already Scottish, face by a terrible case of man-flu. Clearly the Haribo and Lucozade pre-match cocktail needed topping up. Some further pressure from the Hammers and some quick thinking and even quicker offloads put Joe back under the sticks for his second try.

At the risk of sounding too much like a football pundit, it was evidently a game of two halves. The passes that didn’t go to hand in the first half now did in the second. Those of you who have been subjected to a holiday in the sunny south-west probably know that Cornish pasties come out of the oven hot; but when they start cooling down they go cold quickly. The defensive line that faltered in the first half did not break in the second and Hammersmith showed the persistence that has earned them a top of the table spot.

Much was made of how Cornish had scrummed strongly against Old Priorian’s the prior week. The mid-week session studying the dark arts, taught by Professor Swainston, had clearly paid off. Iron sharpens iron and the Hammers pack were strong at set piece. The jury is still out on whether Pete Clarke’s new studs were the independent variable but at least we don’t have to set up a crowd-funding page for new boots anymore. The line out worked similarly efficiently; forcing a defensive turnover which Hammersmith converted into 7 points. Matt Killeen would not be denied, dragging three defenders with him, placing the ball down over the line with authority.

The gaps that had disappeared in the first half were now starting to open. Prime hunting ground for ‘snakehips’ Pete Morris waltzing through the Cornish defence for an 80m gallop. Ross, then capitalizing on this opportunity swapped his current flu for a case of white line fever, sneaking down a completely abandoned blindside secured another Hammers try.

Joe Carolan, who has now slipped to the country’s joint 5th top try scorer, is clearly on a mission to catch ‘Name Withheld’ from Valkryies ladies. He was not satisfied with only two tries for the day. Successive late strikes into the opposition half proved fruitful with a final trio of tries coming for Byrce, Ollie and eventually Carolan again. Three tries in one game is borderline excessive, but over the head offloads to Ollie Weaver are encouraged.

Hammers Women’s 1xv pull-off massive win!

What a game. What a day. Read on for all the excitement.

It was a cold day in Southwest London as the 1XV turned up to face top of the table Battersea Ironsides. Due to poor weather in 2022, this was the first time the sides were facing each other this season so there was an element of the unknown for both teams. Hammers were feeling positive after the strong win against Medway but knew we needed to bring our best against the current best in the league.

The 1st half set the tone from kick off with hard carries and tackles bringing the intensity from both teams. The first 20 mins were a bit of an arm wrestle with Hammers firmly camped in the Battersea half but unable to convert and Battersea unable to make much progress. Eventually Battersea started to lose some composure and penalties allowed Hammers to make progress closer to the line.

Another penalty on the five metre allowed Georgie to make a classic front row try with a hard, low carry to land the ball ‘just’ on the line. Conversion from Alex made it 7-0. The rest of the first half remained tight with possession changing fairly frequently. The other dramatic moment of the half was Tappers managing to get herself Dick of the Day by attempting to clear the ball out of the Hammers 22 with a fairly dodgy kick, despite the fact that Alex was waiting behind to clear. Half time score 7-0.

Hammers came out aggressive again in the 2nd half, kicking off and chasing Battersea down. We kept them pinned in their half again and turned the ball over to give ourselves a great platform to attack. A strong scrum kept their forwards penned in so we could send the backs into space. Great ball distribution saw Miyen score in the corner in her first outing for the 1XV. Alex kicked an excellent conversion to make it 0-14. Battersea weren’t going to be kept out of the game for long however, and as a few mistakes creeped into the Hammers game, Battersea moved up the pitch. A couple of penalties gave them solid field position and despite a good defensive effort, their centre eventually cut through to score under the posts. 7-14.

Encouraged by this Battersea took it to Hammers, forcing Hammers to put on a epic defensive effort to hold them out and turn the ball over. Hammers went straight back at them – pulling the forwards in with multiple phases of hard carries before the backs looked to move it around. A couple of lovely cross-field kicks from Alex nearly paid off, before she decided to just go herself and stepped through the stretched Battersea defence to score. Converting her own kick made the final score 7-21.

Forward of the match – Ellie H-P

Back of the match – Alex W

DoD – Tappers


Close, but no cigar for the Hammers Women’s 2nd XV…

Last Sunday Hammers 2XV took the short-ish trip to Chesham, playing a team that haven’t come up against a Hammers Women’s squad for a good few seasons. We’re adjacent in the table so we knew it was going to be a tight game, but as always the aim was to enjoy ourselves, playing good and competitive rugby.

Hammers started strong with early pressure and a penalty in an attacking position. Early surges forward resulted in a clear opportunity with an overlap created by some great forwards play. The backs lined up the grubber, which resulted in a gap opening up for Tara to sneak through under the posts. Successfully converted to make it 7-0.

We quickly learnt that Chesham weren’t going to let us run away with the game. Their carries were strong, they came onto the ball at pace and focused on their key carriers making ground. Despite a mammoth defensive effort that lasted for the majority of the rest of the first half, Chesham were able to flip the momentum and scored 3 tries (2 converted) in similar fashion. 7-21.

Hammers had their mental fortitude tested just before half time with a nasty injury to Krushi, who was having an outstanding game (we love you Krushi!). Never ones to back down, we came back out of the blocks in the second half with a renewed sense of focus and determination. Chesham didn’t relent, and another driving try took them to 7-26 ahead. Then came the resurgence of Hammers, we figured out how to break Chesham down – using our pace and agility  to outrun them. A period of dominance from Hammers resulted in 3 tries – with Liv, Cloe and Lucy scoring. This took us into the lead, 28-26.

We unfortunately hadn’t quite got the measure of the Chesham attack, and two more tries in the last quarter of the game built their score to 28-38. Again, our resilience came through and Rachel touched down to bring us back within a score of drawing level/winning. 35-38.

Time was against us and the final whistle blew before we could mount a last attack, final score 35-38.

It was a massive effort from the whole squad to stay close in this game, especially as we were on the back foot for long periods of time. We’ve shown improvement every week and this week was no exception. We go again in 2 weeks time! TWOOSH.

Back of the match: Cloe Ragot

Forward of the match: Laurel Dunn



Leyland SDM becomes club partner

Leading specialist in decorating and DIY retailer Leyland SDM has signed up as a new Club Partner, having opened a new branch in Hammersmith to add to their established base in Fulham.

The new store was officially opened by Stuart Pearce (aka “Psycho”) who we understand is rather well-known as a player of some kind of team sport with a round ball.

The Hammersmith shop offers a large range of paint, decorating and DIY products and tools, catering for both trade and retail customers. With over 30 years’ experience, Leyland has in-store experts who can provide a paint colour mixing service in a wide range of finishes and brands.

In addition to expert decorating and DIY advice, Leyland stocks leading brands such as Leyland Trade Paint, Dulux Trade Paint, Little Greene Paint, Paint Library and Farrow & Ball Paint.  They also stock a large range of building supplies, hardware products, plumbing and heating supplies, ironmongery, cleaning supplies, silicones, adhesives and painting and decorating essentials. There is also a dedicated timber department and a loading bay right outside the store where you can pick up plywood, hardboard, melaminie, planed, sawn & CLS timber.

So, if you’re looking for a paint, decorating and DIY shop, visit Leyland SDM today and tell them you’re a Hammer. They will be happy to help!

The new store can be found at 137-139 Kings Road, Hammersmith.

More information…

Blisters, Bonus Points & a Belter!

Only 2 hours before beers were being drunk and a very out of tune rendition of Gerry Cinnamon’s ‘Belter’ poured out of changing room 6, there was a huge task ahead of the men in red at Fortress Hurlingham.

On a slightly warmer Saturday, 2 weeks after a 1-point loss to Old Priorians, Hammers were up against a very tough London Irish opposition who had only recently beaten Old Priorians by 1 point themselves. A late change to the line-up saw Ash Mitchell replace Pete Clark at 6 due to illness and Pete Morris back in the starting line-up at 10 after a knee injury in September. London Irish kicked off and very early on earned a penalty which got the scoreboard underway – 3-0 Irish. Hammers knew they needed a response and after a scrappy first 10 minutes, it was Bryce Morgan on the end of some slick hands and some good pace to touchdown in the corner. 5-3 Hammers.

Soon after however, Irish earned themselves another penalty in the Hammers half and pulled themselves back ahead thanks to the boot of Henry Fuller. 6-5 Irish. Another response needed by the Hammers and that was what they got. The frantic start to the game began to turn into control and maturity, which after some good build up play and strong carrying, Josh Smith crossed the whitewash for his 7th try of the season (watch out Joe Carolan). It wasn’t long though before some more ill discipline saw Fuller put the ball through the uprights to pull the scoreboard back to within 3 points. HT 12-9 Hammers.

Both teams stayed out on the field for half time and after a handful of Haribo’s the second half was underway. The ironically named pick & go call of ‘NAILS!’ from Irish Hammered the Hammers defence. Some more steady build up play led to Bryce Morgan limping over the line for his second try due to blisters from his new boots. 17-9 Hammers. The momentum was with Fulham and after a brilliant turnover from Pete Morris, they made good use of some more possession as Man of the Match Ross Anderson touched down to make it 24-9 Hammers. Irish then awoke and came right back with some heavy carrying to make it 24-16. Game back on.

This is when the Tuesday night fitness sessions started to show though, men in green limped off but Hammers did not take their foot off the gas. It wouldn’t be a Saturday without a try from Joe Carolan and he got what he deserved after some good footwork and a moan of disappointment from Irish, the scoreboard looked a little healthier again. 31-16 Hammers. An AC joint injury to Will Donegan saw the return of Zak Underwood to the front row, and the Irish scrum was going backwards. However, some more ill-discipline gave Irish 3 points to add to their tally and they were back to within 2 scores. 31-19 Hammers. A smart penalty kick of our own soon took the gap to 15 points again with 5 mins to play. 34-19 Hammers.

In a frantic final few minutes, Irish pulled a try back making it 34-26. The kick-off was put deep into the Irish half and some nervy phases were well attached & defended by both teams. A turnover meant Hammers had possession 15m out from the Irish line – both wingers Tim Russell & Matt Killeen screaming for the ball to come wide, which meant it had to pass through the hands of 106 cap man Andrew Rogan. It seemed he had ideas of his own however, charging forward before changing his mind last second and managing to free the ball to Matt Killeen who made his way through 2 defenders to seal the 5 points for Hammersmith & Fulham. Full Time 41-26 Hammers.

Two clubs, both alike in league…

Two clubs, both alike in league,
In fair West London, where we play our scene,
From an ancient Hammers home win break to new mutiny,
Where OPs big hits made quick Hammers hands unclean.
From forth the line speed of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d centres take their tries;
Those misadventured lineout overthrows
Do with their length bring their coaches’ strife.
The fearful passage of the Hammer’s near-mark’d breaks,
And the continuance of their opponents’ rage,
Which, but the Ref’s whistle end, nought could remove,
Is now the one hour twenty traffic of our veo replay;
The which if you with eagle eyes attend,
What most shall miss, our write up shall strive to mend…

1st Half. Old Priorians RFC. 1st Team Pitch. – 04:23 minutes in 

Hammersmith and Fulham kicked off to Old Priorians, 1st and 2nd place respectively in Regional Thames 1, armed with feet and flair.

Old Priorians – 12:36 minutes in

After an opening 8 minutes of back and forth with both sides showing potential but meeting stern defence the OPs gained a chance at a 45m penalty kick, which was well taken by their 10.

OPs 3 – 0 Hammers

Old Priorians – 27:17 minutes in 

After further ping and pong, Déjà vu emerged as another long penalty chance was presented for the OPs 10 around 40 metres out. This time missed, the Hammers recognised the need for caution in our own half.

OPs 3 – 0 Hammers

Old Priorians – 35:29 minutes in

Straight off an innocuous scrum a neat offload through the Hammers tackle let OPs centres join up and evade cover to make 30 metres to the line. The first lapse in the Hammers defence, and the pressure mounted. Some saving grace as the OPs 10 again faltered in the wide conversation.

OPs 8 – 0 Hammers

Hammers – 53:30 minutes in 

After much more a muchness the Hammers made a push in the final act of the first 40.  Two breaks in under a minute showed the danger the Hammers could pose, with the line twice tantalisingly close. But OPs dug in and covered well, forcing a spill and the close of the half.

Teams exit for halftime

OPs 8 – 0 Hammers

2nd Half begins – 60:57 minutes in

After a halftime talk Henry V would be proud of, the Hammers came out intent make amends for the frustrations and near-misses of the first half.

Old Priorians kick off to Hammersmith and Fulham with an 8 point lead and 40 minutes to play.

Hammers – 68:09 minutes in 

Capitalising on a scrum in good field position 10 metres from the OPs line the backs generated quick ball from the resulting ruck. Hart, the Hammers most eligible second row/back row/centre then made it wide to take the pass from Doctor Steve, apply the acceleration, and make it over the line in the corner just ahead of OPs covering party.

Despite lining up with the corner flag Captain Caravan fired a corker between the posts to bring Hammers just one point behind OPs.

OPs 8 – Hammers 7

Hammers – 77:00 minutes in 

With the game finely balanced after OPs quelled the Hammers’ post half-time momentum drama erupted as OPs capitalised on a loose ball to break from the halfway into the Hammer’s 22. A good chase led to a turnover and a moment of opportunity missed by Hammers as OPs piled into the ruck. The Hammers usual vision missed the mismatch as six fast players lined up against tree of the OPs front five across 50 metres of space. Unfortunately, orthodoxy prevailed and hammers box-kicked marginally clear leaving hindsight to rue what could have been. OPs then took another shot at the Hammers line but were held out before play returned to more neutral ground.

Hammers – 100:20 minutes in

As the final whistle closed in the Hammers eventually got the break they’d been working for with a penalty 40 minutes out in front of the posts. Caravan stepped up again and claimed the 3 points, pushing Hammers ahead with just under 10 minutes to play.

OPs 8 – Hammers 10

Old Priorians – 102:03 minutes in

Alas, the Hammers lead was short lived. OPs kicked off and Hammers gathered but got caught napping as the catcher got caught and isolated with the OPs 7 forcing a penalty for holding on in front of the posts. This time the OPs 10 didn’t miss, and returned the lead to the home team.

OPs 11 – Hammers 10

The Final Whistle – 109:44

With everything on the line the final minutes passed slowly, but unfortunately for the Hammers were all too reflective of the game as a whole. Each side cancelled the other out, OPs kick chase playing for field position and Hammers inaccuracies  limited their ability to beat the defensive line on the return despite extended possession.

Hammers lost the ball in contact a final time and OPs kicked it clear for the ref to blow the full-time whistle.

Final Score OPs 11 – Hammers 10


Despite being setback by another 1-point loss, Hammers still have the league title in their sight. With three home games in a row following the final break week of the year the boys will be ready to make amends.