Hammers continue their winning ways

 

On Saturday 7th March, Hammers made the coach journey north to play Welwyn in a rearranged fixture, the original postponed due to heavy rains and waterlogged pitches. Having been humbled at the hands of our Garden Centre friends in the corresponding fixture last year, this time round the back stories were very different: Hammers sat in 2nd place, chasing promotion, whilst Welwyn are in the dog fight at the of foot the table that we know only too well.

The weekend was previously earmarked as an “off week” and we were without a couple of first team regulars- those in the team fortunate enough to have other friends and a social life (or, in Alex Hart’s case, a date with a Granny). Pleasingly, the depth to our squad meant we were able to call up very capable replacements.  One such replacement was Marshall “nice tie” MacLeod, who pitched up dressed like a school work experience student, but will have impressed the boss on his first XV debut (more on that later). Iain Downie and Joe Healy made their first starts. The latter coming good on his promise to take Rogan’s position, leaving our club captain to supervise the valuables bag on the sidelines, a role he takes very seriously.

Welwyn kicked off the first half, playing away from the club house. The sky was grey, but holding firm, and there was just a light wind blowing across the pitch. A sizeable Welwyn support was in attendance hoping to see their team get the win to salvage their season. We had Ash. And it was the Welwyn support, rather than Ash, who had the first thing to cheer about. Ten minutes in, possession was coughed up by the backs- *spoiler alert- this will be an ongoing theme *. On this occasion it was via a loose clearance kick and the Welwyn back line countered. A neat chip forward by the Welwyn right winger bounced awkwardly, deceiving the chasing Hammersmith players, and he regathered before dotting over. Not a good start. On the Touch line smoke billowed from Coach Jacko’s ears.  Rogan had missed it. He was watching the valuables bag.

The conversion went wide- *spoiler alert- ongoing theme*- and play was resumed with the Hammers very keen to make amends for the slow start. Steve John, the clubs second best doctor, carried hard in his usual fashion and as the team started to play the structure, the Welwyn defence opened up. Prop Joe Healy found himself through a hole and into daylight, somewhat to the surprise of his teammates, but unfortunately, like several other similar opportunities, the Hammers failed to capitalize.

And Hammers were lucky not find themselves another try down when, amidst a pile of bodies over the Hammer’s try line, it looked like Welwyn’s Alex Gee-esque winger had grounded the ball.  The referee didn’t see it- a let off for Hammers. The smoke cloud above Jacko’s head was expanding. Rogan wasn’t sure what happened. He still had his eyes firmly on the valuables bag.

Next was another collective groan from the Hammers faithful (Ash) when debutant fly half Marsh took a hard knock to the head, and seemed to be struggling. Our physio assessed him and was happy for Marsh to go on. The referee, however, wasn’t as convinced, and requested Marsh to jog 2 steps forwards then 5 steps backwards, before giving him his blessing. An unconventional HIA, but an outcome we welcomed.

From this point, Hammers started to take hold of the game. An overthrow from a Welwyn lineout in their own 22 bounced into the hands of Steve, the second best doctor, and he had a clear run in to the line. Even the recently single Ben Hatton couldn’t not convert. 5-7. What followed was a frustrating period where Hammers strung together a lot of good play but didn’t finish the chances. The doctors exchanged offloads, and the second rows, Xander and Josh, carried hard. Cale “I’ll come back now Hammers are second” Holmes harried well around the rucks, and Rogan, who due to an administrative error had found himself relieved of his valuables bag duties, executed the perfect “plus one”.

Unfortunately, a rugby team is 47% backs, and it seemed their basic skills were alluding them. Whilst our props were plus one-ing exquisitely, a back- who doesn’t currently have a plus one- Ben Hatton, was struggling to master the simple hand catch. On one such occasion, the forwards broke in the midfield, trading a series of delightful passes out of the tackle. Up the field the Hammers surged, the Welwyn defence sucked in, the overlap was on. Scrum half to Flyhalf. Pass and catch completed. Flyhalf to Inside centre. Pass and catch completed. So far so good. Inside centre to outside centre. This is going really well. Outside centre to Ben Hatton. Fumbled. Normality resumed. Try of the season cancelled. This was to be a repeating pattern. I recall that at one point, the ball was even passed straight into touch- a back believing that thin air would have more chance of executing the catch than his outside man.

Anyway, before this report becomes more negative than Pete Benson at a toddler’s birthday party, and longer and more drivelling than an Alex Gee team talk, I’m going to stop “back-bashing” and speed it up: We went on to score 6 further tries and play some decent rugby intermittently. Second on the score board was Cillian Waldron who intercepted in the Hammers half. The run-in was labored but he made it. Hatton did not make the kick. 5-10.

Next was J-Lo, who over the years has scored for fun despite his unconventional style of moving like the knight on a chess board: 2 steps horizontally for each step forwards. To quote the man himself (as I can’t remember): “right hand side, 40 out, ran in hard, handed off their 7 in the face and just turned on the Nos. It was a deadly mix of power and pace”. The same cannot be said for Hatton’s missed conversation. Northerner Purv chalked Hammers’ 4th. Again, I can’t remember what happened (I tend to look away when the backs get the ball) so here’s his account: “Aye oop! Ball came t’Iain, who passed t’ ‘atton who fed me t’dive acrobat’cally int’ corner. Ta ta.” (that’s how Northerners speak, right?!). Not converted.

After the break Iain Downie got try number 6. The scrum half who’d moved house at 11am that morning, 1 hour before the team bus departed, showing similar quick speed of thought to pick and go, throw the dummy and go over the whitewash. A Hatton slice and hook cancelled each other out and the ball accidentally sailed over the posts for a rare conversion.  Next up was Xander who galloped under the sticks after supporting a Steve John break and offload.  J-lo scuffed the quick drop goal. Not sure why it was even attempted- a strong DOTD contender.

The last try was scored by yours truly thanks to some guile from Hammersmith front rower/ Tory back bencher, Jacob “Reece Mogg” Poulton. Hammers were awarded a penalty 5m out and jolly Jacob called a quick tap. His swift hands found me in-between two defenders. I didn’t pass (rarely do), stuck my head down and barreled over. On a very slight angle, 15m in from the touch line, the kick proved too difficult.

There were no further scores from either team. Welwyn found their second wind in the final quarter and, had it not been for Marsh’s fantastic chase back and covering tackle, and a couple of vital Second Best Doctor turnovers, they may well have pinched one back at the end. But they didn’t and the final whistle was blown. Final score 39-5.  The sheepish looks as we shuffled into the team huddle with Jacko at the end said it all- we knew we’d been far off our best. However, it could be argued 7 tries and a bonus point win on an “off day’ ain’t bad.

This past week’s current affairs have been eventful to say the least. With a pandemic upon as and with major sporting competitions around the country falling one by one, it may only be a matter of time before London North West 2 experiences a similar fate. In these uncertain times, this could be the last match report for a while. What is certain though, is that whenever we next play: Rogan will still know where the valuables bag is, Hatton will still be dropping balls, and Hammers will still be chasing down London Welsh. And we’re going to catch them.

MOTM- Zander Stephen (strong carries and hard work)

DOTD- Ben Hatton (see above)

Hammers grind out a win against a tough Luton side

Hammersmith and Fulham 1st XV came in to this fixture as the only team in the club with a fixture as Storm Jorge forced waterlogged pitches and sauce related issues in the W4 area.

With no Megaboss’ mega bus quiz to entertain the travelling bus, Ross Anderson treated those who could understand him to 5 fun facts about Luton. To translate, it has an airport and something about a TV advert.

Upon arrival the forwards and backs split in to seperate changing rooms, with the backs using this time to compare the bulk bought blue boots and share their industrial strength hair products. The forwards all sat in the corner doing whatever Joe Healey told them to.

Ben ‘the Hattonater’ Hatton pried himself away from the friend zone to join the team in Luton and got proceedings underway for the visitors. Luton retained possession before a sloppy pass resulted in Joel Caravan capitalising and kicking through. Unfortunately for Joel, the handbrake appeared to still be on for the motorhome as Ash ‘he’s me Dad’ Mitchell raced ahead to win the penalty. The Hatonater took the 3 points.

Hammers took the kick off and dominated the next period. Returning to the Luton 22, the clubs resident Georgian Alex Gee outpaced/boshed [delete as appropriate] his opposite man to make the score 8-0. The Hattonater added the 2.

The prevailing wind from the M1 was blowing in favour of the South West London side as they returned to the red zone. After a number of pick and goes, Josh McLean yet again found himself in the right place at the right time and flopped over from 20cms to add to his ever growing try tally.

The Bedfordshire side had obviously heard about the exceptional NHS talent in the Cockney ranks and looked to take advantage with 2 injuries in a short space of time. Unfortunately for them, the doctors had remained in the capital to continue spending their increased post-Brexit salary.

As the Georgian national team look to infiltrate the 6 nations, The Georgian giant proved the nations strength in depth. Just before half time, Alex Gee-nishvilli used the full force of his 102.6kg to power over for the visitors 3rd try.

20-0 half time.

The second half saw the arrival of 2 debutants in Rob Vaughan and Iain Downie. Vaughan made an instant impact, giving away a penalty resulting in the referee sending him straight back to the sideline. Down to 14 men, Luton saw the opportunity to capitalise with a chip over the top finding grass and being collected to cut the margin.

10 mins later, back up to full compliment, Hammers collected a line out on the Luton 22 to set up a driving maul. In a role reversal, the forwards delicately set up the foundations of the maul before the backs added the brute strength to force Lachy Skulander over for the try.

A few more chances for Hammersmith to extend their lead were not taken. Joe Healey couldn’t collect the ball from a blind side move, but in no way was this Healey’s fault and Anderson’s left handed seed was nearer the ankles than the clear target provided.

The match then proceeded to fizzle out with no more scores for either team however the sides were treated to a riled up Downie who arose from a late tackle liked a blood soaked Highlander before getting some calming words from his fellow Celts.

5 points is 5 points and Hammersmith and Fulham look forward to another trip north to Welwyn Garden Centre next week. Happy birthday to the Hattonater – hopefully your 27th year can bring an improved love life.

Hammers 1s unplayable against Hemel

Picture the scene. You’re a ginger 26 year old. You had a gf and now you don’t. You’ve taken an involuntary vow of chastity. You’re so single that even hentai doesn’t do it for you anymore. Remember that scene in the inbetweeners with the ham? Now you get it. So you turn up to training on Thursday and Dad turns around and says “HATTON, you’re on the bench fer Saturday so ya are”. Thanks for mugging me off in front of all my friends, Dad.

You turn up for the game and look around the changing room. Around you are the creme de la creme of amateur rugby. And Gee. You get your boots on and go outside. Hit some naughty kicks and then before you know it the game starts. Now if you weren’t there on Saturday and expecting some delicious verbal recreation of the game, I’m afraid like a number of girlfriends I’ve had, I’m going to have to disappoint you from the outset. We scored 12 tries. I can barely remember to not listen to Gee when he starts talking, let alone try and remember all of the play that led to each try. However what I will do is run through some key moments in the game that made the packed out crowd giggle, cream and vomit into their gilets and gum boots (sorry, le Chameau:).

First, Hemel kick off and who is underneath it? Zac Halliday. Like a mentally challenged seal, he flapped his arms above his head and dropped it. Good start fellas.

Second, Dr Steve ‘WishhewasasgoodasAngus’ John receives a bit of a hospital pass in the midfield. Hemel’s ten decides that this is his moment. All of those years of practice has led him to this moment. He’s going to smash the opposition number eight and blowjobs galore will rain down upon him like Rogan’s spittle during a more aggressive pre-match team talk. Flying out of the line, the 10 connects and hits Steve. Did Steve fly backwards? No. Did the 10 get folded in half and spend the next 10 minutes saying hello to darkness his old friend? Correct.

Third, Hemel put together some good phases and ended up in our 22. No. 10 has shaken off his old friend and was dictating the play well. Their 6 decides to run a deep line off 10 and try and get on the outside of our defence. A noble thought. Up steps Cillian Waldron. From nowhere he flies out of the line and ends their 6. It was like a head-off car crash where two-become-one. Their 6 developed asthma and left the field.

Fourth, another Hemel kick-off. Ball bounces to Waldron. Inside to JLo. Chip ahead. Certain try. Ball bobbling towards the line. Suddenly, Alex ‘Cougar-bait’ Hart appears and attempts to score.  Maybe he was still unsure of the kick-off time. All I know is the ball slipped through his clearly lubed-hands and went forward. Dick of the day secured. Cue Instagram.

Finally, debutant Joe ‘lookslikeafattermoregingerCharlesBronson’ Healy [TEXT CENSORED] reputation. You don’t mess with Joe Healy. Within 2 minutes of coming on he had [TEXT CENSORED]and someone else a [TEXT CENSORED]. One of his first scrums ended with him [TEXT CENSORED]inside Henly’s [TEXT CENSORED]. He should’ve used some of Hart’s [TEXT CENSORED] as the Henly boys[TEXT CENSORED]. With the final plays of the game happening, Joe again does [TEXT CENSORED] to [TEXT CENSORED][TEXT CENSORED]at a [TEXT CENSORED]. And ends up getting [TEXT CENSORED]. Cue some [TEXT CENSORED]. Welcome to the club. Please don’t [TEXT CENSORED] me.

So there you have it. Some wonderful rugby played and some seriously good tries meant that the Hammer train keeps rolling. I will end with the rundown of the try scorers and a score out of ten + comment on each individual in the team. As it is most definitely payback time :).

12 tries scored, 1 penalty, and 8 conversions. Taylor x4, Josh x3, Purv x1, Hart x1, Cillian x1, JLo x1 and Caravan x1.  Final score 79-5.

  • Rogan: 8/10, scrummaged beautifully while he was off the field.
  • Zac: 8/10, absolute darts all day long. Looks like a much more attractive Fat Ba****d from Austin Powers.
  • Jacob: 8/10, we get it. You like politics.
  • Josh: 8/10, scoring tries now? Ooooo look at you.
  • Hart: 7.5/10, keep those wrinkle fingers away from me.
  • Lachy: 8/10, I kept hearing ‘allez Lachy’ from the sideline. I wonder what it’s like to have a girlfriend…..
  • Pete: 8/10, you are not Irish and called Derry. Sort that schlid out.
  • Dr Steve: 8/10, a physical representation of Jacko’s crusty sock.
  • Ross: 8/10, ‘there’s been a murda!’. Yes Ross, it’s called your left-hand pass.
  • Joe Caravan: 8/10, the best worst kicker I’ve ever seen.
  • Purv: 8/10, DJ sh*t tunes. Got his own business that helps polar bears.
  • Cillian: 9/10, a poor man’s Will Smith.
  • JLo: 8/10, his inability to run straight makes me question his eyesight.
  • Gee: 8/10, just for 5 minutes. All I want is silence for 5 minutes.
  • Taylor: 8/10, WRAP ME BUNDEE!!. Just for you 🙂
  • Joe H: 8/10, such a good player. Stay calm, deeeeep breaths.
  • Cale: 8/10, take the scrum hat off and be proud of your gingerness. Wear it like a badge of soulless honour.
  • Ben: 12/10, sh*t lad.

 

Hammers 3rd XV grind out an ugly win in tough conditions

After a good win the week before, Hammers third XV travelled to the middle of nowhere to play a strong Feltham side that like us, were looking to secure a spot in the play offs come the end of the season. After a long walk through a swamp from the changing rooms to the pitch the 3’s spirits were lifted by an opposition who strolled out to do there warm up half an hour before kick off. With Strong winds blowing we knew that this wasn’t going to be the day for wild looping passes, and with some big lads in their pack we knew that tackling low was going to be important to stop them from getting over the game line.

In the first half Hammers had the wind behind us so we knew that we had to use it to our advantage to clear the ball from our lines. From the kick-off however, the hammers were put under pressure as catching the ball seemed to elude some of our players and Feltham regathered their own kick off. After several phases of pressure and some big runs from their NO8, hammers found themselves having to re-group under the posts. The conversion was pushed just wide of the posts and the score was 0-5.

Soon after our kick off and after some well placed kicks from full back Steve Harris, Hammers found their way into the opposition 22. After repeat pressure and some good hands from the backs, Tom McGurk found himself blasting over the try line for what was to be the first of two tries for the centre. With the conversion missed the scores were level at 5-5. Soon after this, Hammers were back in the oppo 22 and Gerky found himself barging over in the same spot he had crossed over only a few minutes earlier. Conversion missed and the score was 10-5 to Hammers. Not long before Half time Feltham got one back and with the conversion it was 10-10.

HT 10-10

With the wind Against us in the second half, Hammers know that ball retention was going to be important. Unfortunately, we seemed to enjoy throwing loopy passes to no-one which meant that Feltham were given a lot of easy possession and territory and it was only down to the amazing defence of the Hammers that they did not cross the try line. It took 30 minutes for the first try of the second try of the game to be scored. This time, Shaun Coitus – returning from injury – had an easy run on his first game of the season since his latest injury to make it 15-10. With Steve Harris making the conversion it was 17-10.

Feltham his back a few minutes later and scored an easy try after a penalties and missed passes allowed them an easy walk in to make it 17-15. From the re-start, Feltham again drove back down to the Hammers 22. The previous try had given them hope of a late comeback but a turnover from Captain Cook put an end to that dream. After winning the lineout, Hammers kicked the ball out to secure a scrappy 17-15 win. It wasn’t pretty, but Hammers know that they will need to improve on this performance ahead of their cup semi final away to Hampstead on the 29th.

FT-17-15

Man of the Match: Tom Mohan for outstanding play.

Dick of the Day: Shaun Curtis for rollin around with cramp and Tom McGurk for Hattrick avoidance

 

Hammersmith & Fulham 2s go down stoically against Belsize Park

It was a beautifully bright Saturday morning, with a blistering breeze shadowing the grounds at regent’s park. With a stacked Hammersmith & Fulham squad the boys were out in force with absolutely no late comers whatsoever. The boys were focused and looking to make it 2 on the trot after a glistening performance over Roslyn park the weekend prior.

Kicking off, with the wind at our backs, Captain Jack begins the mental games early with a territorial drop off bouncing into the oppositions touch, just short of the 22m line, Belsize ball. The first lineout of the game sees a hammersmith steal, allowing the boys begin a 15-minute stint of territory with slow, tactical phase play testing the relentless defence of the table leaders. The opposition hold out by the skin of their teeth, forcing a Hammers knock on, over the 5m line. With a brave exit & a quick lineout Belsize use the width of the field & ship the ball out, gaining quick yards & thus leading to the first try of the game. 7-0 Belsize.

Hammers angered by this sudden turn in the tide strike back with a well contested drop of, claimed back by the reds. With some experienced bossing of the forwards by Ed “wrinkly old man, somehow still playing rugby” Clarke, the chaps make quick work of the opposition defence & land us in their 22. Quick ball is littered out the back, Jack links up with foxy in a dazzling display of backs magic & foxy bags himself a meat pie. 7-7.

The remaining 10 minutes of the first half sees itself played on the Belsize 10m line. A back & forth exchange of possession with some great attacking prominence from the boys unfortunately leads to a sloppy Hammersmith penalty thus allowing Belsize to capitalise & convert, taking the lead into the second half. 10-7.

With the first half behind us, H & F had settled into the game well. We had dominated the majority of the 1st half with some minor mistakes, all in all a great shift. The second half would turn out to be not so commandeering.

Now with the wind at their backs, Belsize began an unrelenting stint of aerial bombardment & territorial rugby, pinning us back into our own half where we would stay for the majority of the game remaining.

With a call to arms needed, we looked to the bench for some cavalry. After a gallant 1st half performance German, Ferdi ”Augustus gloop” was battered & bruised…que a hopefully awe – inspiring Oliver “fat-man” Rae performance. His first challenge, the lineout. With the misses eyeing on from the side-line, Rae steps up, his belly cocked & loaded. Somehow forgetting that this is in fact a rugby game to which the ball must go straight, Rae delivers the ball straight into Clarky’s hands. Belsize ball. Her dreams of a knight in shining armour quickly fade away.

The remainder of the game is filled with patchy scattered defence, weakened by a yellow card for Mitch & some injuries to Hoops & Foxy. Not to worry as hammersmith’s star player Waldron fills in from wing to fullback to centre to form a formidable central partnership with the ravenous, extremely malnourished Rich vaughanzhaz, after a long Veganuary putting in some solid hits. However, this was not enough & scoreboard was ever increasing. Final Score 36-7

 

 

 

Hammers 3rd XV turn it up for a big win!

It was Saturday afternoon is South West London and with Storm Dennis brewing to hit the Hammersmith and Fulham boys welcomed Ruislip to fortress Hurlingham, which had been breach two week’s before by a Belsize side fielding a higher team never the less the boys were pumped and wanted to make a statement, with the Hammer 1’s game cancelled and the Hammer 2’s having an early kick off it meant the 3’s had quite a crowd to perform against, no pressure now lads. After walking out to a guard of honour from the supporting lads the boys were pumped up and ready to smash some Ruislip lads. Straight from kick off the hammers forwards made a state with a huge twin hit on the receiving Ruislip player. This momentum enable the 3’s to steal a quick turn over and a crash ball in the centre and an outrageous blindside call enable the legendary returning George O’hara to stroll over within 2 minutes of the game, up steps Steve Harris to see if he can add the extra two from the sideline but on this occasion didn’t quite have the minerals.

Ruislips 130+ kg prop looked like he would be a dangerous ball carrier but this myth after a couple of carries the lads started chopping those ankles instead of going for the bear hug. Hammers second try came from an attempted clearance from Mr Maxwell’s boot saying I’ll clear our lines with an off the side of the boot spiral kick that only just made our 10 meter line however a fortunate bounce and wheels from Alex Chong Kwan enable him to pip the ball in the air and then run it in from the halfway line to save Ollie Maxwell any blush, this time round Steve Harris had his eye on the prize and slotted it through the middle. 12-0 Hammer’s

The Hammers forwards

at this point where starting to dominate and worked our way up the pitch and had a lineout on Ruislip 22m line, a quick ball off the top amd a smart grubber through from Harris allowed the on rushing Ollie Maxwell to slide over and ground the ball, simple rugby execute at the highest order, Harris doesn’t make any mistake this time either and converts nicely. 19-0. I heard you ask what about Storm Dennis he was seemingly being kept at bay.

Continuing to push our scrum half looks like a prop, N.Emmett then does a cheeky show and go and strolls over the line right hand side of the pitch, this angle and a big blow from dennis Harris hooks his conversion wide, that concludes the half.

Half Time Score 24-0.

Ruislip came out second half with the wind behind them and wanting to test the Hammers defence how this stood strong and with the Ruislip forward pack starting to tire and there one of runner allowed the hammers boys to easily select their targets however a lack of discipline and a brief blip in concentration allowed Ruislip to maul it over to get what was to be there only points of the game.

Fortunately the 3s are better at scoring tries than maths as a lack in basic counting skills meant we ended up with 16 on the Field for a very brief moment and then down to 14. In the ensuing confusion that was definitely due to no fault of his own Irwin left the pitch and got caught out with a buffalo on a tinny before being ordered back onto the field, seconds after downing the can.

The Hammers wanted to put right this mistaken score with the lads making ground down the pitch and ending up camping up on Ruislip’s 5m line with the scrums so dominate and walking them forward getting penalty after penalty captain cook asked about the penalty try but wasn’t needed as another scrum walked forward and a pop to Emmett to dived over for his second try of the game. Again the hammers secured the kick off and launched a quick counter attack and made some serious yards and with a 4-1 big man Tom  decided to go himself and bundled over to score the final points of the game but the questionable decision to back himself rather than using the 4 on 1 option to finish a great game in horrible conditions.

The final Score Hammers ran out 36 – 7 winners against Ruislip.

 

Hammers 4s bring it home

A Beautiful February day that brought promises of England destroying the Scots on their turf in the six nations and a Hammers side brimming with confidence after taking top spot in the league after an impressive win over rivals Wasps travelling to Chiswick to take on Quinton RFC.

With the words of outside centre Paul Davies still ringing in our ears and leaving everyone suffering an existential crisis and questioning what the point in living anymore is, we arrived in Chiswick ready to take on the task of overcoming a team that dispatched both Hanwell and Wasps by more than 40 points in consecutive weeks.

The game got off to a frenetic start with Hammers retaining possession and driving up the pitch with intent, pod after pod drew the opposition in with James Mitchell and Tomos crashing over the game gain line again and again. This led to space being created for our front row replacement Alex Gee masquerading as a winger to crash through after running a strong line to dot down under the posts. This brought about the first conversion of the day from Hooker and kicker extraordinaire Steve Danby who slotted the first of what would be many that day.

Two more tries swiftly followed from Derry and Gee to set up a good cushion after the opening ten minutes. However Quinton weren’t going to roll over without a fight and after some interesting 30 meters passes between wing and prop in our own 22 Quinton were quick to capitalise getting over for the first of two tries in quick succession. Game on!

Unfortunately for them it wasn’t enough on the day and realising our superior pace outside we started to shift through the gears, you will forgive me if I am slightly hazy with the details of the order and names of all the scorers as they started coming thick and fast. Our centre partnership of Drysdale and Davies were as always a dynamic duo and the two D’s pounded through any hole they could find. Ably supported by Charles Draper who left defenders and the lingering smell of a Mcdonalds breakfast in his wake wherever he went.

At half time we were 5 tries to the good as the list of injuries started to take their toll and we unloaded our bench to devastating effect. Chad notably gathering the ball off the restart, evading the first few defenders before winning the footrace to the line. Ben Hubert (pronounced with a French accent) and Michele the Italian stallion all contributed to an increasing score line.

Dixey crashing through getting yards, closely supported by Stern and Antoine in the back row consistently provided territory and good ball for the backs to exploit, not to mention terrorising Quinton when they were in possession. It was a great day to be a hammer watching beautifully crafted tries being run in one after the other and some set pieces the would make even the finest aficionados mouths water

Finally I decided it was time for myself to come on and make an impact, sadly my only impact was to get over excited and have us go down to 14 men for the remainder of the game. Apparently I missed the memo about dump tackling people without the ball.

The game however was a forgone conclusion by this stage with Hammersmith and Fulham in ascendancy, Quinton did manage to get a last minute consolation try, a just reward for their efforts as they kept fighting till the death despite the score line.

A final result of 76 – 21

Hammers 4s XV defeat Wasps

Hi. How are you? Take a seat. Also, what have you been up to? I’ve just recovered consciousness from a significant night of post-rugby celebrations (disclaimer* this may impact the subsequent report). Anyways, do you ever wonder about the meaning of life? Well, I do. Even if there is reincarnation, the earth will be consumed by the sun in six billion years, and even if we find another galaxy to inhabit, the ‘Big Bang’ will subsequently lead to our universe imploding back in on itself: the way I see it- what’s the point?

So, it was with this in mind that we created the temporary buffer between our inexorable and relentless march towards death by playing rugby for the Hammersmith and Fulham fours on Saturday. This therefore lead to us playing against the men from Wasps in a highly anticipated and season-defining top of the table clash.

I don’t know about you, but I sure appreciate a strong hand. Currently led on the field by Stephen Danby, 22, Secondary-school owner and James Mitchell, 39, Pharmacy Technician, it was self-reported they had been brought within an inch of their lives during the week by player-manager, Nick Turner over their need to inject increased expression of emotion and passion within the team. It was this and the intense pre-game talks that therefore took us to the field with a mild sense of shame and self-loathing.

Despite this hurdle, the game started well with territory firmly camped in the opposition 22 metres. Persistent Forwards pressure combined with sending the ball wide worked brilliantly. It was rumoured they were threatened with being sent back down the coal-mines and so frequent runs from Drysdale and Draper carved the opposition to threads. It seemed as if the only thing that stood in our way was the touch-judge. After an initial break-through across the try-line (which excessive celebration has inhibited the recollection of), a subsequent sudden rampage across the line by Ali Johnston saw a further touch-down and consolidation of an early Hammers lead (the try-scorer’s legality status however remains yet to be ratified by WADA officials).

A solid lead was subsequently built, however a stern come-back via Wasps opportune scores in the second half brought the game to within touching distance. However, still fresh from winning second and third places respectively in a beauty contest, the brothers Mitchell charged over the try line in close proximity to collect timely points: Jack charged through the middle as if his Uncle’s horses depended on it, while James crashed over viciously through the waiting defenders. Young Dixie was noted for making several piercing runs from the back of the ruck while Dan Serf stole some much needed lineout ball and Antoine France later made some heavy tackles.

Have you ever seen human pain and suffering? Well if you answered yes, then you will have been firmly in your element- broken noses (and hearts) were the order of the day- Scott Ireland was left with scars and stitches indelibly etched on his face for the rest of life while Leon (noted for a couple of trademark hammering tackles and great try) was rewarded with a rearranged nose for his valiant efforts. Hammers held on to win 29-17 and remain in pole-position for season promotion.

This was a great team performance where backs and forwards integrated formidably. As a result the level of team shared love/passion rose from a 4.2 to 6 by game-end.

To finish with: while you may be sitting there thinking rugby is the ‘be-all and end-all,’ remember: the clock is ticking. Reading this article has brought you several minutes closer to your inevitable demise.

Tell them that you love them. Tell them to delete your browsing history. Choose meaning. Choose happiness. Choose KFC

Hammers 3s go down hard against Belsize Park

Belsize Park 3’s were the apparent visitors to Fortress Hurlingham on Saturday to reclaim their pride having lost the fixture at their beloved Regents Park earlier in the season.

With the midseason recruitment clearly having gone well Belsize Park started strongly and similar to the Spring Bok used their forward pack effectively, scoring four quick tries before Hammers got into the game. Deciding to play some phases and keep the ball away from Belsize Hammers applied pressure and slick hands across the entire back line saw Ryan do his best impression of Jonny May to beat his opposite man (wearing French rugby shorts no less!) on the outside and score.

Half time score was 5- 24 and Hammers agreed that surely the second half performance couldn’t be any worse. It was.

Worse sides would find excuses for that performance seeking to blame; the wind, the ball, the referee, the fact Belsize were man for man bigger and stronger, the sunshine, there was water on the sidelines, the paint on the try lines was not dry, Harris missed every kick to touch, our starting Hooker never showed up (Cheers Tommy), only x5 guys trained on Thursday and that some jokers still think that bringing Fosters is acceptable as a post game beer, but not the 3’s as they knew it was the coin-toss loss that cost them the game.

Next week let’s hope Cookie brings a double-sides coin!!

Final score

Hammers – 5
Belsize – a lot

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