Hammers hold-off a strong challenge from Letchworth Garden City

Accompanied by Mark ‘Lead sideline Baritone’ Jackson the Hammers 1st XV knew that the coach journey north would be one that both tested their mental fortitude as a team but also their resilience to ignore the palpable family tension between an alleged father and a certain recently single bench warming son.

After some playful and sometimes cutting verbal jousting, the Hammer’s indulged in an annual tradition with a spot of Trivia. Enter stage right, James ‘Megaboss’ Lo the seasoned host to guide the team of 2 through the 3rd annual ‘If you aren’t from the UK good luck’ Megaquiz (formally known as the Megaboss’ Megaquiz). The team stacked with copious antipodean talent received a swift education on a variety of UK centric trivia from ranging categories. Interesting and a little take home price for those playing at home ‘The Great Fire of London’ of 1666 emanated from Pudding Lane and it is believed to have been started by a full time Baker with a commendable small time hobby.

Arriving on ground,  the matchday conditions presented complications for all of those who dealt with the ball higher than their chest, a strong westerly gale sweeping across the ground. Accompanying this the gradient of the pitch was in short…noticeable. Nevertheless following a delayed commencement to warm up, the Hammer’s were ready to receive the kick off.

The first 10 minutes saw a somewhat see sawing engagement with the prevailing headwind and dogged Letchworth defense making progress slow going. After toiling away for a number of phases Hammersmith earned a penalty and with the knowledge the safety of his precious mobile home was only a short distance away Joel Caravan punched an into the corner. A precise rolling maul ensued and after much jubilation it was concluded a shared forward’s try would be accepted. The only known was it was certainly not scored by Jacob ‘Secret Son in Cardiff’ Poulton. The prop who has been seen frequenting the 5m channel, reliving a previous success that is by all accounts unfathomable by any human brain.

The Hammer’s left the Letchworth half claiming the 5 points on offer, a result ensured by the trusted inaccuracy of Mr. Caravans boot.

Off the following kick off Letchworth wasted no time returning fire and with some heavy forward running found themselves with a scrum positioned inside the Hammer’s 22. It was from this scrum that it was confirmed the Hammer’s had contracted Turnstyledefensitis (patent pending). A condition which manifests itself through extreme softness of the scapula, clavicle and humorous (refer Steve ‘Do you know I am a Doctor’ John if symptoms persist).  Letchworth were in next to the sticks and added the extras, 7-5 Letchworth. Upon return of the kick off solid gameplay and grinding forward carries lead Letchworth to field position within the Hammer’s half and as a result knocked over a penalty, extending their lead 10-5.

In an instance of Déjà vu, through structure and gameplay which could be best described as untrained Hammersmith found themselves on the Letchworth 22 with an attacking lineout. Step 1 Setup rolling maul. Step 2 Rumble over. Step 3 Collect Jacob Poulten from swanning position and return to halfway. The score 10-10.

Turnstyledefensitis (patent still pending) has been confirmed as extremely contagious and was spreading like an uncontrollable global pandemic, infecting all Hammer’s present on the day. The following 10 minutes of defensive efforts were likened to that of a shared toilet after a teamwide bout of gastro. Letchworth captialised and bullied their way across the line, adding the extra’s with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Letchworth 17-10

It was at this stage that aspiring Irish Opera singer and Head Coach, Mark Jackson released a ballard that registered seismic activity across the greater Garden City area. Eyewitnesses claim that his booming voice was akin to that of the great Pavarotti. This impromptu recital was no louder than in the listening gear of Samuel James Purvis stunning him like some form of improvised flash bang explosive. When approached on Monday morning for comment Sam confessed ‘my sight has only just returned and my ears are still ringing with Jackson’s diverse vocal range’.

The Hammer’s keen to enter the half time break in touching distance of Letchworth and spurred on by Mark’s dulcet tones, worked a blindside play off the back of a scrum. Up stepped blue boots salemans Taylor Williams (link in his bio). A slick outside line, fend and dummy to the still disoriented Samuel James Purvis and he coasted to the line untouched.  17-15 to Letchworth.

Adjourning for halftime the Hammer’s appreciated that although the scoreline was not in their favour they remained well and truly in the game. Mark, exasperated from his 20minute serenade of his team and the crowd, advised he had once cured a severe case of Armtacklesious by requesting the players administer a mental cup of concrete. He firmly encouraged the team to give it a go. Steve ‘could study through a cyclone’ John later confirmed that this was in fact the only known cure for Turnstyledefensitis according to the leading Medical Rugby research body the Health Agency for Rugby Devotees Enforcing the Nobility of Union Players (HARDENUP).

With the wind and prevailing slope at their back the Hammer’s kicked off the second half and through what can only be described as pure class were in again via an intercept for debutant and slowest man on earth Tyler ‘Broken Seal’ Stacey. In a sudden plot twist shocking  players and spectators alike the conversion was successful and the Hammer’s were up 22-17.

Following this gift, the Hammer’s forwards began to graft some inroads in the Letchworth defense. Zac ‘Straya’ Halliday through obvious deformity to his face however schemed against success and forgot the team mantra ‘Do your Job’. He employed his best efforts to lose the hard fought field position by losing 2 scrum feeds against the head. Despite pursuing all opportunities to avoid the outcome over the next 5 minutes Hammersmith eventually settled inside the Letchworth half.

Mark who had had a skinful by this point cleared the benches. Phil ‘John Deer’ Lord, Ash ‘He’s me dad and he’s me best mate’ Mitchell and Ben ‘Eternally Single’ Hatton stormed the field in an effort to bring the Hammers home strong. After playing their structure for what seemed like the first time in the game, Steve ‘See nicknames above’ John collected a saucy inside ball from the back window of Joel’s caravan and with some sparkly footwork and dominant leg drive was able to power over the line. To further complicate the Hammer’s ability to count in multiples of 5, Joe/l slotted the conversion and Hammersmith was up 29-17.

A struggle ensued through the midfield as Hammersmith displayed improved structural integrity of their shoulders, Zander Stephen the promising specimen, showing glimpses of making a full recovery. A bruising 10 minutes followed where Letchworth threw the kitchen sink at the Hammers defensive line, which bent into some compromising positions but ultimately did not break. Letchworth chasing alternative means of breaking the line swung the ball wide.  The ball squirted out the side of the breakdown and onto the blue boot of none other than Taylor Williams.  With blistering pace which can only be explained by the energetically coloured footwear, he soccered (Australian for football) it and with the gradient of the slope in his favour collected the ball to score.

With feedback amongst the group being that maximum points made the game to easy, the boys enjoyed a return to regular programming and the conversion was missed. Score 34-17 to Hammersmith.

As clock would down and regular time ceased to exist, Ross ‘Finn Russell’s mate’ Anderson knocked the ball into touch and the game drew to a close. FT score 34-17.

Many thanks to Letchworth for their hospitality and post match entertainment which included a jovial recital of some rugby classics and a spontaneous ‘Rumble in The Garden City’ main event with honorary referee Ash ‘The Letchworth Local’ Mitchell adjudicating a fight between his best mate and his date.

In summary ‘It means nothing we go again Tuesday with Ian’.  The profound words of chipper Scotsman a week before Hogg dropped not only the ball but also the dreams of a nation over the line.

 

Man of the Match : James ‘Megaboss’ Lo

Tin Man: Samuel ‘Banjo’ James Purvis

 

Hammers 2nd XV vs Rosslyn Park

Hammersmith and Fulham 2s arrived at Barns Elm sports ground to face Rosslyn Park in good spirits boosted by the last minute addition into the squad of flying back rower Hamish Baxter.

Despite being on the furthest pitch away, the referee turning up considerably late, and a worse pitch than you’d find in no mans land, that did not shake the boys, game heads were on and the warm up went swimmingly.

Kicking off 10 minutes late, into the wind, Hammers made a positive start making some good progress in the wide channels, being held up just short and turned over on a couple of occasions. Out of nowhere, Rosslyn snuck a good little counter attack on us, and where camped on Hammers’ line for a prolonged period of time. Although the defence was good, Hammers’ eventually ran out of numbers out wide and Rosslyn dotted down to make it 0-5.

Not letting heads drop, captain super Jack rallied the troops, and had us back down in the oppo’s half, piling the pressure on once again. Getting the ball through the hands Hammers were stretching them well, and then through some great ball carrying, on debut, Joe Healy dotted down to make it 5-5, Jack added the extras, 7-5.

The next 30 minutes flew by, and the boys up front turning the screw at scrum time, the backs began to carve up taking Hammers in 21-5 up at the break.

It took James Ralston about 3 minutes into the second period to score, with a lovely move going wide off scrum time. The second half dominance continued and Hammersmith & Fulham ran in 68-12 winners.

Try’s from Sam Nursery (2), Billy Rylance (1), Joe Healy (1), Ash (1), Slade (1), Super Jack (1) and Dave Arnot (1).

Hammers 3rd win another tough hit out

And so it was to pass that the Hammers 3XV would be defending fortress hurlingham alongside the 1st XV in a crunch weekend on the 25th January knowing only a victory stood against 2 big opponents in their way of an evening on the (pub) golf course….

We all know the story behind the 1st XVs sensational victory against our local rivals Chis-wick and so it is here where we pick up our 3rd XVs round…..

The driving range was good, energy and focus appeared to be in abundance except for the late arrival of a one Sebastian “DALY” Money…… the team hoped he would make up for it with his accuracy from the tee.

The game teed off with a nice lob wedge where the hammers gained some good territory early on. Mike “Bjorn” Cook making a great break, like a nice 7 iron in from 170 yards, only to knock the ball forward, the rugby equivalent of a 4 putt.

25/30 minutes passed with both teams battling hard, with the Hammers gaining most of the territory but with little reward, until a young Magnus “Mcilroy” Barber broke free down the right wing to touch down. Stephen “Rose” Harris missed the conversion, chipping his approach straight into a ditch.

Not long later a try from Alex “Poulter” Kwan added to the score following some good work by Rob “Stenson” Fox.

Half time Hammers were 2UP (12-0)

The 2nd round (half) started very much like the first with a lot of level Par play with Hammers gaining a lot of territory without much reward.

This was until a hooked drive (clearing kick) was gathered by the Hammers four ball treating the Par 5 on offer like it was merely a Par 3…. Harris to Fox to Cook to Billy to go over in the corner. A superb score crafted brilliantly by all those involved.

The game continued with some heavy drives and hits being made throughout by Barber aka Mcilroy and Fox aka Stenson, both would be happy with this round.

Then the introduction of James “Tiger woods” Cramp, bringing the subtlety of a boozed up and affair laden player, his first touch was to simply gift the opposition a try…. Maybe bringing back this washed up player for his cameo was a mistake.

The opposition were clearly Buoyed by this and desperate defence and pure grit kept them at bay on the 17th only for them to cross again in the corner with the last play of the game.

Not the prettiest round the Hammers 3XV will partake in this season, however a win is a win!!

Hammers won 3 and 2 – 17-10.

Hammers emerge victorious in local derby

The auld Middlesex enemy. 2nd vs 3rd. A local derby that requires little introduction. After a 23-23 draw in the first meeting, all those concerned knew the return leg was going to be a cracker.

With badboy Will Smith (shoulder) and Ben Hatton (stress fracture of the heart </3) being the only injuries of note, the hammers team entered the game not only buoyed with confidence and momentum from the 2 wins to start January, but also with a modicum of consistence.

From the kick off the Hammers men looked good, some structured phase play saw the big boys carry hard throwing down a marker and showing what was going to be on the menu for the next 80mins. Starter: get run over. Main course: get run round. Dessert: joué and ice cream. Big carries saw Steve John and Angus Lean breaking through tackles at will, propelling the men in red into the opposition 22. The doctors were putting on a clinic in one out running.

Once in the 22 some big boy phases sucked in the Chiswick defence. Quick ball to Joel at 10 who fed Taylor Williams on a beautiful inside line and sent him under the sticks to break the deadlock. A lovely slice of meat pie to christen the new electric blue boots. Alex Hart was heard to have said: ‘I could have done that, I might try that.’ Stay tuned…

The commanding start showed no signs of letting up and now the backs were also invited to the party, James Lo – fresh off the back of a massive leg session in the gym – was carving up the Chiswick midfield like an expensive south west London Sunday roast. A slick back line move saw JLo execute a 2 on 1 and deliver a try on a plate. However, despite Georgian winger – Alex Geeiwishihadavisa – breaking his try duck last weekend, he decided to try and catch this pass with his bicep much to the dismay of the now capacity crowd in the Hurlingham Park stadia. This was not a sign of things to come.

Give him 5 to catch his breath. Rinse and repeat. This time a 2 handed catch, step back inside, sit the opposite man, back to the outside, gas (yes, really), airborne for the gram, try in the corner. Joel ‘the static’ Caravan stepped up and slotted the conversion for the touchline (yes, really).

HT 17-0.

The message at half time was a simple one. Same again, tidy up some scraps and don’t do anything silly. Naturally, from kick off we took the player out in the air. This wasn’t Taylors fault, his news boots are lighter than his old pair so he was able to jump higher than he expected.

With a brief stoppage in play linguistic specialist Alex Hart took an opportunity to showcase his mastery of the English language: ‘Boy’s it’s A to B to C then D.’ Not wrong Alex, not wrong at all. His £100 an hour tuition with Poulton clearly working wonders.

Both teams started the second half in furious fashion. Some big collisions and solid hard nose defence really started to set the tone with the ball being trapped in the middle of the park. It was going to take something special to unlock either team. I mean something really special, like absolutely dripping in joué special. Step forward, fullback winger centre stand- off scrum half second row… and captain Hammer himself. A forward pod set, a lovely tip from Zac ‘CHOPHIM’ Halliday. Ball Transfer, a big ol’ ‘get off’ to a dishevelled Chiswick 7, and now we are off to the races. With a good 30 meters under his belt McClean had built up the head of steam required to bosh the 15 into 7s season. However the second row (again, can’t stress that enough) opted for plan B: seed of the season. A floated15/20/25 meter pass (distance of pass varies depending on person asked) out in front of the onrushing Jlo. Try time baby.

At this point, there was blood in the water, and the front row sharks could smell it. With a scrum on halfway, they decided to stop playing with their food. Rogan put his many (many) years of experience to good use and took his 6’8 prop for a walk. Shrill blast of the whistle, nicely done. Now deep in the Chiswick half, another solid scrum, another solid platform. The skinny boys went blind and for the second time in 2 weeks, a winger tried to remove Taylors head from his shoulders. Get him walking, slice of cheddar, 10 in the bin of repent. With the resulting penalty, Joel moved the forwards 5 out. A solid lineout and off to work from the big fellas. Questions were asked, no answers were given. Lean, the man to deliver the final blow and scored whilst taking 2 defenders over the line with him. Bonus point bagged.

This slap in the face energized a fading Chiswick side who dug deep and showed why they are so dangerous. Post restart the men in maroon went deep into the Hammers 22. Prolonged pressure, but the Hammers held firm chasing the donut. Resolute defence from Lachy (top-knot) and Cillian (People’s Republic of Putney) really keeping the men from W4 in check. Hammersmith needed fresh impetuous and energy to match that of Chiswick. Enter Mitch Mitchell Mitchellson IV, like his father ,his father before him, his father before him, and his father before him. 40 seconds later? Exit stage left for a 10 minute seat on the naughty step for MMM IV for a cynical ball kill on the line. It’s at this point that MMM’s sobriety was once again dramatically thrown into question. A quick tap and back to the grind, a few phases then a hero ball over the top and Chiswick were in in the corner.

Chiswick were having a good 5 minutes and with the man advantage worked back into the 22. Some faltering lineouts and scrappy ball for the away side, however McClean was deemed the cause. The charge? Offside at the maul. The consequence? Yellow. Down to 13 it was backs to the wall for time for the Hammer men. Grinding rugby ensued. The red men were able to hold out well and drain the clock before Chiswick bumped over. A try. 29-12. With bodies everywhere and men down, physio Matt was working hard. It’s at this point that Steven John took the opportunity to very calmly and eloquently remind Matt that he is – in fact – a doctor and that he would – in fact – be playing on.

Down to 13, captain and club captain off, Hammersmith needed some strong words. Self-appointed stand in – Jacob ‘his holy pintness’ Poulton – was on hand. ‘Do your job’. Short and sweet, like Purv.  Lesser teams and lesser men could have folded at this point, gone to pieces like a jigsaw in the box. But when you are raised in a clay bog, fitness flogged on a Tuesday and terrified of a big blue dice you don’t lie down, you don’t quit.

Do your job. Joel Caravan dropping the kick off on a dime. Do your job. Taylor Williams up like a Scottish salmon for the reclaim. Controlled pace and phases for the outnumbered Hammers. Alex Hart one off runner, Chiswick defender braced for another big impact, delicate ball back inside to Williams. Quick bump, under the sticks, thanks for coming (to after match awards). The tide had turned. Alex Hart, a man of chronic time management but the delicate hands of an angel (this statement is corroborated by AGE UK).

With the final minutes ebbing away into the last play of the game Hammersmith kept the foot hard down. Another slick backs move and another 2 on1 executed by Lo, resulting in another airborne try in the corner for Alex Geesushestoobig. Champagne  rugby on a buckfast budget.  41-12. A thoroughly well-deserved win, a jubilant home crowd and Chiswick send homewards tae think again. A big win teeing up well earned pints.

After the match, coach Jackson had this to say: ‘I’ve got nothing to say, that was excellent’. Rogan later added: ‘It’s good to be good.’

3/3 and 15/15, operation January is complete. It means nothing and we go again on Tuesday with Ian.

 

 

MOM: Angus Lean

TIN: Mitchell Lewis

Happy Burns Night and Chinese new year to Xander!

 

Hammers get the double on a strong Hampstead side

The away fixture at Hampstead provided the usual pre-match game of ‘where the f**k are their changing rooms’. Head coach Mark Jackson struggled with the search in particular, walking around the mansions of Hampstead aimlessly following dud directions from his senior players. He wouldn’t have been so late were he not slowed down by many of the residences’ security guards intervening, fearing the tracksuited Irishman was scouting out his next burglary target.

The early drama and reduced warm-up time helped to sharpen Hammersmith & Fulham’s focus, and the clinical warm-up that followed proved to be an early indicator of things to come.

So. First half.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts, with one or the worst kick-offs in rugby history after Joel Carolan had given it the big “going deep” chat instead dribbling meekly over the 10 metre line –but this was soon forgotten as the Hammers got into attacking gear quickly. A period of early possession and slick handling meant prop Jacob Poulton found himself with ball in hand out wide in a strong attacking position in the opposition half. Recollections of the exact distance from the try line vary widely, but one thing that isn’t up for debate was the efficiency with which he put away his try. Dummy to Will Smith thrown, afterburners on, he ate up the 10-45m quickly to turn in the first try. Alex Hart was quick to point out after the game that he was on hand to finish the effort, if required. Joe Carolan missed the conversion, obviously. 0-5

Overconfident after their initial success, Hammersmith let their opposition back into the game. The Hampstead no 4, who would carrying well all game, found and broke through a gap in the Hammersmith back line before putting his number 13 into space to go under the sticks. 7-5

Momentary blip forgotten, Hammersmith returned to their attacking ways. A few phases of forwards ball followed by a slick out-the-back move put number 13 James Lo onto the ball just inside his own half. Bouncing out of a double tackle, he carved up the remaining Hampstead defenders like a well-cooked Sunday roast and made his way through the bog to the try line – his Friday morning bi’s-and-tri’s gym session really showed as he held off a tackler to go over the white wash. Joe Carolan didn’t add the extras, naturally. 7-10

The following period of Hammersmith attacking dominance in the opposition half brought two penalties within kicking range. As both were right in front of the sticks, Joe Carolan finally got his points tally underway and took his side into the half time break comfortably up. 7-16

Hampstead rallied at the start of the second half, using the downhill slope to their advantage to earn a deserved try through their forward pack. The Hampstead kicker, having swapped tips with Joe C at half time, missed the conversion. 12-16

This proved to be the second half kick-up-the arse Hammersmith needed. A foray up the slope into the opposition half got Hammers within striking distance and their pack, bit between their teeth, did the rest. Big carrying and slick offloading out the tackle from the forwards – Jacob P to Josh McClean, Josh to Lachy – saw the men in red go over at serious pace. Alex Hart was quick to point out after the game that he could easily have pulled off a similar pass, were he not miles away from the action. With only mouldies on, Joe Carolan slipped in his run up and kicked the extra two points. 12-23

The next 10 minutes proved to be a real turning point in the game, where Hammersmith would distance themselves from their opponents and prove to all watching what serious promotion contenders they really are…

Keen to not let the Hammers pull away further, Hampstead rallied hard and mounted a sustained attack in search of a try. Their efforts, however, were to no avail as the Hammers saw off wave after wave of attack, not letting their determined opponents into their 22. Whilst Steve John and Angus Lean stood out in particularly during this passage of play, it was surprisingly veteran prop Andrew Rogan who would get the turn-over that formally ended the Hampstead effort. Asked about this uncharacteristic jackal after the game, Rogan confessed that he had actually stopped for a breather and bent over to tie his shoelaces when play caught up with him and the ball fell into his hands.

It was during this Hampstead period of attack that soon-to-be super sub Cillian Waldron, replacing the soft shouldered inside centre Will Smith (DM me about gym, mate), sustained a knock to the head that would awaken the beast…

 

After forcing their way into the Hampstead 22 courtesy of some impressive carrying, the Hammersmith pack let the pretty boys do the rest. Scrum half Ross Anderson planted a sweet seed, like a carrot farmer in Spring, into the hands of Waldron who threw a dummy pass to Sam Purvis before crashing over himself for the bonus point try. Carolan added nothing extra, of course. Hampstead picked up a yellow card for repeated defensive infringements in the build-up. 12-28.

A relatively quiet 5 minute period ensued, with nothing coming of a few Hampstead efforts. The only real highlight for the spectators came courtesy of Sam Purvis. Defending one-on-one against the Hampstead winger, he confidently pointed to the space on his inside, inviting him to take the space; the Hampstead winger accepted the invitation, turning Purv inside out in the process. This washing machine motion was probably the main reason Purv’s match shirt was so clean at the end of the game. Fortunately, a Hampstead knock-on spared any further blushes.

Hammersmith then went back on the offensive, backs and forwards combining well under the stewardship of Joe C. The pressure ultimately proved too much for Hampstead, as they went down to 13 men after a second yellow card for a shoulder charge to the head of fullback Taylor Williams. Alex Hart was quick to point out after the game that he could quite easily have been high tackled also.

Playing against only thirteen men and with their opposition tiring, the Hammers turned up the heat, adding a penalty (12-31) and going in search of a fifth try deep in the opposition half. Josh McClean, improvising at scrum half, fed James Lo who basketball passed it to Joe C, who put Cillian Waldron through for his second try of the game. At the time of writing, Cillian had just finished putting the ball down. 12-36

The dying moments of the game saw ever-lively scrum half Ross Anderson try to extend the lead further, running through an enormous gap towards the try line. Unfortunately, his ego was writing cheques his wheels couldn’t cash and he was quickly closed down by their tighthead prop to bring the game to a close. The contest finished 12-36.

All in all, an impressive showing from Hammersmith & Fulham who now have 8 wins from 9 games, keeping the pressure on London Welsh at the top of the table.

All eyes on their next game against Chiswick at Hurlingham Park…

MOM: Josh McClean
Tin Man: Also Josh
Ben Hatton: Still single

Hammersmith and Fulham vs Harlequins Amateurs

A cold crisp winters day as Hammersmith 3s travelled to suburbia to face Harlequins amateurs. Despite the long journey and the cold weather the boys were up for it as the benefits of Dry Jan were clear and meant the numbers of hangovers were at an all-time low. James Lalor got his DoD performance off to a good start with a dislocated finger in the warm up, with the finger clicked back in place, Captain Cook got the boys going with a much needed warm-up.

Hammers were out the blocks quickly with a brutal break from Ed Miller but when he was tackled on the 22 meter line just short but Mike Cook was on hand with a great supporting line to run it in for the final metres with the ball. The boys knew the next task was to secure the ball and exit our 22 but with a few handling errors due to cold hands and a miss match in the backline Harlequins went over for a soft try.  Hammersmith quickly bounced back with a solid forwards try from a catch and drive lineout five meters out the maul was unstoppable and Captain cook was at the back to dot down his easiest try of the game. A line out on the half way line came quickly off the top and a cracking move from the backs involving both wingers with Billy Wickham just being stopped short of the line and Cook again was on hand in support to dive over from the 5. This ensured Cookie managed to seal the  easiest hat-trick the game has ever seen inside 40 minutes ! The Hammers knew this was going to be there game but it didn’t help when James Lalor then nailed down his DoD status by making a low tackle and bouncing off to then throw his arms around the attacker’s head/neck and receive a soft yellow card! The lads managed to hold off conceeding any more try before half time

Half Time 7 – 21

A comfortable half time score and a couple of substitutions meant a bit of disarray let Harlequins get the first score of the second half or so they thought only for there 12 to decide to just keep running forgetting you have to put the ball down before the dead-ball line, an easy let off for the hammers. Hammers started going through the gears and a great break by Jack MacGreogor resulted in and another interesting referee call gave Hammersmith a penalty deep inside their own 22. Then in his own word number 9 Nick Emmett “quick tapped and split through the defence, with just the 15 to beat stood him up with a chahoo goose step and glided past to dot down in the corner.”

Then some cold hands and poor tackling let Harlequins back into the game when their prop looking number 10 danced through our defence to touch down a try the whole team was disappointed about.

The old guard of Steve Harris and Ed Clark rallied the boys and a sharp queen ball by Hammersmith on their own 22 gave Cookie his final try and a try he deserved the most, when he broke through the inital tackle and was free with only the fullback to step, he somehow managed to run the length of the pitch. This was followed by tries from Tom Mohan, Ryan Grey and a 90m intercept try from Shagga to run the length of the pitch on his return to action for months.

Chad Buchner put the final nail in the Harlequins coffin when he got the ball on their 22m line and handed off their Fullback with a choke slam straight out of WWE and sprint to touch down under the posts.

Strong performance all around and a well-deserved win!

 

Final Score: 59 – 14

MoM: Tom Mohan

DoD: James Lalor

Hammers 1st XV back to their winning ways!

After a disappointing end to 2019 with a narrow defeat to league leaders London Welsh ending an impressive winning streak, the Hammers 1st XV were looking to get back to winning ways to begin the new decade.

The weather gods were kind and the conditions were perfect for the home game playing host to Hackney RFC who had embarrassed the Hammers team in the first game of the season played in the Far East. Retribution was the buzz word of the day and the Hammers boys were certainly ready for dealing it out. With a team comprised of one third Aussies the game was blessed from the start.

The game started with both sides fighting hard between the 22’s but not being able to open the opposition up. Despite the efforts of both forward packs, the backline seemed to still be wiping the mince pie crumbs from their mouths and the scores remained 0-0 for the first 15 minutes.

The first points were looming however and a good attacking set of play saw Hammers on Hackney’s 5m line and after a couple of good pick and go’s Alex Harts outstretched hand landed the ball on the chalk, but apparently this wasn’t enough for the referee who signalled held up. Buoyed by this the Hammers scrum reigned supreme pushing Hackney back 5m and Angus Lean opened the account with a good try off the base of the scrum. Conversion unsuccessful and the score went to 5-0.

This seemed to be the catalyst to end the Christmas Curse and Hammers structures kicked into gear and it was too much for a less drilled Hackney side. Shortly after a well worked forward movement from Hammers gave the backs space out wide and Alex Gee ended his scoring drought and denied the end of season nudie run with a great finish in the left corner. Conversion unsuccessful and the score went to 10-0.

Hammers found their groove and had all the ball for the rest of the half which ended with another fluid movement in the backline putting Taylor Swift over the line to be converted ending the half at 17-0.

The second half began with a spirited fight from Hackney, but the first half had taken its toll and hammers quickly took the upper hand as they surged toward Hackney’s line. A show and a go and a pirouette saw Joe Carolyn through a gap planting the ball firmly under the posts. He added the extras the the bonus point try and the score was 24-0.

Again Hammers commanded all the ball and territory and in the blink of an eye James Lo slid through the defence in mid field and its said by onlookers, whom refuse to believe he passed the ball, that Lo dropped the ball backwards into the supporting arms of Angus Lean who kicked on the after burners and scored squarely under the black dot. An easy conversion saw Hammers commanding a 31-0 lead.
The final 20 minutes will go down in history as Jack Davies entered the field from the subs bench and a hoodoo drifted over the field.  Not more than 5 minutes later Hackney RFC strung some good phases together well and their backline looked ominous out wide. Through the hands it

went until a rogue hand came out of nowhere and a shrill cry of “denied” was heard coming from the mouth of Sam Purvis. Yellow Card number one.

Once again Hackney mounted an attack but Hammers were too good, seeing off 3 driving mauls on their own 5m line. Jack Davies however having not seen any action was hungry to get involved, threw himself life and limb into his first tackle, his fault though being that he was so effective that he was trapped in the ruck stopping a positive forward movement from the opposition. Yellow Card number two.
Jack walked off leaving 13 men to face the Hackney 15 and it didn’t seem it could get any worse. However, the very next phase from the restart Hackney attack outside, inching 1m from Hammers line before Cale Holmes seemed to steal the ball and for a split second the pressure was lifted. This dream was pierced by the shrill of the refs whistle and despite standing bolt upright, Holmes was deemed off his feet. Yellow Card number three.

The Hoodoo had reached it’s maximum point and Hammers were left with 12 men defending 15. Despite the predicament facing his men, coach Mark Jackson remained serenely calm in a situation would have sent any other mortal off the edge and he called his men to dig deep. Despite a gallant effort in defence, Hackney were too good and after executing some simple catch pass were able to put on 2 tries in the following 10 minutes. The final whistle blew and a relieved Hammers team exited the field 31-14 victors solidifying their place at number 2 on the ladder.

Thank you to Hackney RFC for what is always a tough game and it’s onward & upward for the Hammers who take on Hampstead in a top 4 clash next weekend.

Hammers 2s defeated bv a strong London Cornish

With the new year recently ticking over, the 2’s were desperate to put the back end of 2019 behind them and get some early wins under their belt. With some boys still riding the Dry January train, energy levels were at all time high and we were motivated to chalk up a win on home turf.
Unfortunately, Cornish sought a desperately needed win as well.

We kicked off with great intent but soon found ourselves camped inside our own 22 after a couple of soft penalties. Cornish would make use of this field position and go on to score first. Following this try, we received quite possibly the harshest call of the season when the ref said we were a foot offside on the kickoff. Cornish would go on to take a quick tap from half way and finish in the corner. That one hurt. 14-0 Cornish

Sam Nursery continued his Jarryd Hayne ‘09 like form splitting Cornish up the middle on a counter and after finding support Sam would link back up and go on to score under the posts, his 11th in the past 3 games… 19-7 Cornish half time.

Knowing that we still had a shot at winning this game, Hamish Baxter would go on to channel his inner William Wallace and provide a motivating, near tear jerking speech which instilled belief that we could win this battle.

This proved effective after some slick attacking play saw 2’s debutant Ian Downie soon crash over for the 1st of his 2 tries after some brilliant carries and support play by the 15 men on the pitch. Unfortunately, this dominant surge would only last 20 mins in to the 2nd half as we soon slacked off in defence and Cornish made the most of a few holes in our line crossing over under the posts.

A few calls didn’t go our way but in the end we were our own worst enemy. Our effort in Attack couldn’t be questioned but it was ultimately our lack of structure in Defence which proved costly. Full time 31-17 to Cornish

Definitely plenty of wins left in this 2’s team, a full 80minute effort and we will be well on our way.  A tough loss to cop but the show goes on.

 

MOM: Ian Downie
DOD: Slade Buchner (welcome back)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hammers 4th XV vs Old Streets

Yet another trek to North East London saw us take on Old Street for the second time this season. We travelled with a large squad in confident mood having despatched these lads in the home fixture earlier in the season.

Warm up and team run through went well and despite windy conditions the boys were confident of executing the game plan.

We started with a very strong team, from the kick off we carried well with Dixey and Gareth showing willing with ball in hand early doors. Old Street immediately fronted up in defense and looked to counter us at the rucks with their bigger forwards. We expected a hard and physical game from this first play and despite gaining yards, we ended up knocking on just outside their 22. This led to the first scrum which put down a marker, our front row dominated in the tight, forcing the oppo back from the initial hit, they didn’t want to know from then on.

A couple more phases played out before the first score of the game, some fine work from the half backs Dave and Zac before big James Mitchell twisting with power to crash over the try line. A couple more scores followed in quick succession, Mitchell senior with another following a good steal from Reg off a line out,  in addition to a fine run and finish from the evergreen Paul Davies. The backs began to take control, Zac having more and more influence from 10, stepping inside and out to create try’s and notch one brilliant score himself.

Old street did push back and managed to score once before half time but they had no answer to our set piece, ball carrying, and backs dominance. A couple of scores before half time from top scorer Charles Draper took the wind out of their sails and effectively tied things up before the break.

Second half was about closing out the game in a professional manner, and trying to get all 8 subs on with decent game time. Micky Booth stepped inside off the wing to deliver a perfect ball for Mitchell to finalise the hat trick, before then scoring a flair try with pace himself running over half the pitch.

Subs came thick and fast but our dominance continued, despite a much changed scrum and back line. Ollie Stern continued Dan Serfs dominance at the line out, allowing Dave to supply precise passes throughout. Ali Johnston stepped in at tight head to drive the scrum even further back on his front row debut.

A couple more scores followed, one penalty try after good work from the forward pack after a penalty, then Nick Turner taking a kick off and running half the pitch,  through an Old Street winger, oxygen was needed immediately after for the lad.

Old Street did sneak one more back at the end, combination of some tired legs and lack of concentration, we did have the last laugh however as some good work from Mark Paris released Bertram on the right wing who showed a good turn of pace and eye for the sticks. Game over and a cracking first game back in 2020, onwards to Hackney next week to keep the momentum going.

 

Hammers 3s put in a big performance

A surprisingly nice day brought in the first game of the decade as Hammersmith 3s travelled to Whitton Lions for the quarter final of the Bowl. The game kicked off with everyone still running off their Christmas dinners and hangovers, despite this the Hammers were soon in front though after a grubber through and a strong turnover led to a penalty, which from the resulting lineout the forwards drove over to score. Hammersmith looked fantastic in attack and scored several first half tries, finishing the half with a brilliantly executed backs move to put Hammersmith in a commanding position going into half-time

The good play continued in the second half with more tries following, however Whitton kept working and were rewarded when some slack defending in midfield got them on the scoresheet. Despite this set back Hammersmith showed ruthlessness to go straight up the other end and score. The excellent attack continued and more tries followed including Lachy who broke through several defenders to go over. Rob Vaughn then added one more pretending he was a winger crashing through the line off an inside line from the ten. The score could have been higher but Ollie Rea forgot where the try line was and dropped 5 meters short, making sure to wrap up dick of the day

Final score, Hammersmith 62- 7 Whitton, with one particular winger scoring 5 tries, Overall an excellent way to start the new decade, with lots more come in the coming year for all teams