Hammers 1s v Harpenden – Match Report

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

Hammers 2 v Hampstead – Match Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOM – Casey Dennis

DOTD – Chad Buchner

Debuts – Alex Peers, Chris Appleyard, Ed James

Hammers 3s v Millfield Old Boys Badgers

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Hammers 4s v Twickenham

On a sunny day of what has been an ever ending summer, and a slightly longer commute than
planned, the 4s arrived at Twickenham, the home town of English rugby. Despite being squeezed
into the smallest changing room most had ever seen, spirit was high! Some late reinforcement from
the 2s had been provided. The opposition had conceded defeat when they heard Crampy and his
boys had trashed Hackney and Kilburn back to back.

The warm up, led by Captain Will, looked slick and the lads were up for battle after some BOPP and
pod drills. 15min before kick-off, a late arrival by Dominic Woodfine concluded the team runs and
the 4s were ready. Twickenham decided to add a late twist to the game and requested for the scrum
to be uncontested. Our bemused captain had just found that Hammersmith were starting with a 14
points lead.

Twickenham kicked off the game but the Hammers applied pressure straight away. It was a strong
start with some powerful running from the forwards. In no time, H&F opened the score after a well-worked
try by Tim McNaughton. Slade duly converted, 0- 21 for H&F.

Twickenham restarted and applied pressure at the breakdown almost immediately. After earning a
penalty for not releasing, their full back kicked it into the corner. Despite holding up in defence,
Hammersmith kept conceiving penalties at the ruck. Debutant Alex Peers received a yellow card for
H&F consecutive infringements. Twickenham was quick to score their first try through the middle
from a strong run by their back row. H&F was pinned into their 22s for most of the first half from
excellent kicks by the opposition back 3. Twickenham finished strong with two further tries before
half time. 17-21

After a pep talk by Will Finn on structure and the breakdown issues, H&F added some fresh legs.
Dominic Woodfine went to scrum half, pushing Simon O’Sullivan onto the wing and Declan Food
jumped into the second row. It wasn’t long before H&F got back into their rhythm again. Within
5min Chad Buchner powered through Twickenham’s defence with the help of few hammers 17-28.
Crampy took the restart, but after running 10m went to the floor in pain with what looked a very
serious injury. The 2s captain will be dully missed by H&F for the next few months. He was replaced
by Bob Davies. H&F lost their concentration and quickly conceded another well worked try by
Twickenham, through some quick phase play. 23-28.

The restart was much better by H&F by using Dominic wonder boot. Hammers forwards got back
possession and were able to get some strong carries. They ended up with a scrum close to their 22
line. With a well-executed Saints move, Chris Ralph left Twickenham centre frozen by his dazzling
pace. 23-33. Hammers tried to get Nick Powell and Seb Money on the pitch but Twickenham coach
was being extremely difficult and un-sportsmanlike as he did not allow more than 3 subs.

Twickenham regathered and continue to put pressure on H&F back 3 with another well placed kick.
Max Dubois at 15 let the ball roll and touched down for what he thought was a 22 drop out, not
realising he had touched down in the 22, the ball was still in play… Despite re-enforcement from
Charlie McCarthy, H&F was quickly turned over and Twickenham scored 25-33. Pressure kept coming
from Twickenham and soon they passed the white line twice after some sleek running from their
back line, 37.33.

H&F was able to get back into Twickenham’s half after some big carries by the forwards. Hammers
applied from strong pressure but handed up losing the ball in a line out. Twickenham kicked the ball
into touch and the whistle blew for full time. Final score 37-33.

The hammers will feel they let that one slip away but credit is due to Twickenham who applied
constant pressure with some intelligent kicking. H&F was not able to get their hands on the ball and
did not play enough in the opposition 22. Exit will need to be worked on at training.

MoM: Chad Buchner despite requesting repeatedly to be substituted during the second half.
Tin Man: Max Dubois for losing his mental compass.

Tim McNaughton
Chad Buchner
Chris Ralph
Slade Buchner x1

Hammers 1s v Hemel Hempstead

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

Hammers 5 v Hackney

A sunny day and cross country commute to Hackney ushered in the start of the new season for the 5s. Plans for an early meet to dust off some of the summer indulgences and remind ourselves of moves were largely scuppered by underestimated travel times and equipment issues but some practice of Rhino ball was squeezed in overseen by coach Silcock.
Hackney certainly came out of the gates quicker and had the us pinned in their 22 for the opening 10 minutes of the game which seemed to come almost as much of a surprise to them as it did us. Some solid defence and discipline managed to keep them out. Scrappy play from both teams in the midfield followed with a first serious foray into the Hackney half leading to a solid team try going through many hands on the counter before a silky offload from resident angry 9 Crog Duffy led to young Jack Mitchell crossing the line and scoring the 5s first try of the season for the third year running (early try scoring promise often overshadowed by a mid-late season drought).
The 5s slowly started to click in to gear as the game progressed with well worked trys coming from Felix Whitechapel (showing his trip to the 7s world cup over the summer had only enhanced his love for a rangey run) and Leon Gillespie powering over the line from 10 after sustained pressure. Hackney put forward a physical challenge but the strain was beginning to show. The 5s looked set to go in to the half three tries up however some confusion under a kick between the back 3 led to a comical try for Hackney to end the half.
Some fresh legs at half time and a reminder that Rhino ball was not the only move in the locker led to a blistering start to the second half with two full team trys coming in short order. The first having Tomos Edwards forget he is a second row and combine a show and go, step and fend to beat half the opposition back line and create some space before switching with Michele Bongiorni to create a try of the season contender. The second a well worked backs move off a set piece leading to pitch inspector Jamie Drysdale going under the posts despite the hard ground. The game became a little scrappy from there with fatigue setting in and a secure result however the backs looked dangerous throughout leading to Paul Davies rolling back the years and bursting through the middle for a first try since the closure of The Larrik. The game was closed out with a further couple of tries and Hackney were kept scoreless thanks to a try saving tackle from Ed Spooner. Points were left on the board through kicker Stephen Danby showing pin point accuracy and hitting the post on 3 occasions which he took with characteristic good humour and grace…. A decent game all round with a dominant set piece (100% line out retention) and the backs looking dangerous but plenty to work on for next week against perennial challengers Belsize Park.
Final score 48-7 a good start to the season with some sore bodies and heads on Sunday morning.
MoM – Tomos Edwards & Michele BongiornI
DoD – Paul Davies (ending try drought)
Trys – Mitchell J, R., Mitchell J, A., BongiornI, Davies, Whitechapel, Drysdale, Gillespie, Edwards 

Hammers 2 v Hackney – Match Report

And So…… after huge amounts of sustained pressure, lobbying, and Supa 5s contests at Hammersmith Town Hall, Hammersmith and Fulham Council realised that they in fact loved having heavily blazer clad Jack Whitehall wannabees on their side-lines and it was time for Hammers to run out for the first time this season at Fortress Hurlingham. Fortunately, the fixture gods had been in kind and the visitors for the first 2s league game were in fact Hackney following the clubs’ respective first teams drawing in East London the previous week. This was excellent news for the Hackney Lads as one had heard that they too loved the Blazer Bantaaaarrr and were only too keen to get down to share tales of tour medals and chundaaaarr on the side-line.
Unfortunately, the only blazer spotted by the author was not one of the Hammers variety and worn by a man resembling a young Gerard Depardieu than the League of Their Own resident comic that so many of the Hammers have idolised over the years. That said, the man in question was heard to be propositioning a lady outside Maremoto at 3AM the following morning with the promise of Cheese and Wine at his Fulham flat should she wish to return with him. She wasn’t hungry.
And so, Hammers got the game underway with the words of stand-in skipper McClean ringing in their ears…… ‘They’ve not come down here to mess about boys and they’re not just going to roll over!’
What followed was a spectacle of free flowing rugby, some say the likes of which Hurlingham has not seen since the days of an Alleyne/Walters halfback combination, and telegrams. Hammers looked to get into shape quickly, similar to many boys after their initial Bronco tests, and began going to work on making inroads into the Hackney defence. There was a lot of hard yakka for the Hammers early doors but eventually pressure told with Huw Bowen going over on the right win in the first minute. Warner converted and then the floodgates opened.
A first half followed where Hammers continued to run in tries from everywhere, much to the dismay of the Home Crowd, and so Bomdhat, Basher and Del had a nap, and Billy Rylance continued drinking. 7 more tries followed from all over the park scored with Warner, Gee, Panter (2), Murray and Goldberg (2) all going over, Warner converted 6 of them to make the score 52-0 at the break.
At half time the mood was buoyant, but with some of the lads looking like they’d run 4 broncos in the blistering SW6 sun, changes were made in order for Hammers to keep up the pace after the break.
This they did, and the boys were quickly into their stride in the 2nd period. Straight off the bench, Jordon Abbot crossed first following a superb pop off the floor by teacher’s pet McClean. Rumours are he celebrated later that weekend with a marathon 4 hour Sunday session of the popular children’s game ‘Bop-it’. We look forward to seeing the fruits of his labour once more in training this week.
More changes were rung and James Darrall came on…. gave away a pen….. protested his innocence and was marched 10 meters. Impact.
Fox crossed next, having cut a line just as he cut’s lads’ lunches, followed by 2nd tries for Gee and Bowen shortly after, before Shepppard, playing in his more suited position of full back, trundled in from the 40 metres. Panter, Bowen and Gee all then completed hat-tricks. I think it would be fair to say that with the line at his mercy for his third Alex Gee had at least 29 other blokes on the pitch trying to tackle him yet persistence prevailed. Word is he was later overheard in the Durrell stating ‘Hammers…..completed it mate’ #stayhumble
Coach Dunseath entered the field of play to ring some changes in the back line. He was still on the field of play when the ball was launched into the air from the Hackney restart, but scampered off with a rabbit in headlights urgency, just as the ball was collected by the hammers pack. Fox to 10, Warner to 11 and another change somewhere else….. maybe. It seemed to work which is a testament to the amount of work the lads have put in in pre-season from a chaos point of view. Or it might have been that Hackney a lot of points down.
Alex Warner collected his 2nd off a well worked move from the back of a scrum and a perfectly timed, sumptuous pass into his path from whomever had the ball prior to him. Panter converted excellently from the side-line as Warner handed over the kicking duties….. might be a while before he gets them back.
There was still time for Jordon Abbott to be involved in possibly the most polite held up decision in Rugby History after he explained ‘he really wasn’t too fussed’ in a fairly patronising matter of fact way. This was not taken lightly by Skips and was punished accordingly later in the afternoon, however it was on this note that the final whistle blew, the Three Stoodges awoke and Hammers were victors with handsome points difference to start the campaign.
Final Score 115-0.
Credit where credit is due, Hackney at no point rolled over (to Josh’s delight) and kept playing right through to the end without deliberately turning the game into a scrap. Hammers can expect a much tough test later in the season when they travel to Springhill for the return leg.
A good day’s work from Hammers overall, and although the game was one sided, the boys stuck true to structure and pattern throughout and got some good metres under the belt. We look forward to a big week into a full programme of league games this weekend. Training no doubt will bring some hard graft and news of anyone who served any cheese and wine.
A great way to start the ball rolling at Hurlingham this season and a ‘Great Day to be a Hammer!’.
2nd XV Vs Hackney
  1. Rob Johnston
  2. Phil Lord
  3. Joe Darwood
  4. Zander Stephen
  5. Josh McLean ©
  6. Ultan Bruton
  7. Ash Mitchell
  8. Tim Murray
  9. Dave Buchanan
  10. Alex Warner
  11. Alex Gee
  12. Rob Fox
  13. Dave Panter
  14. Huw Bowen
  15. Jack Goldberg
  1. James Darrall
  2. Tim Williams
  3. Jordan Abbott
  4. Ed Clark
  5. Sam Sheppard
Tries: Bowen x 3, Warner x 2, Gee x 3, Panter x 3, Murray, Goldberg x 3, Abbott, Fox, Sheppard
Cons: Warner x 14, Panter x 1
Motm: Zander Stephen
Tin Man: Jordan Abbott

Hammers 2 v London Scottish – Match Report

07/04/18 – Hammersmith & Fulham 2ndXV vs London Scottish  

The final league game of the season and everyone is prepared for an exciting game. The tourists are back from Barcelona and they have brought the sun back with them, a sunny 18 degree day with a slight wind and fast track, the scene was set for good day away. 

With the warm up complete and the final team runs rehearsed the team was ready. With bagpipes playing  in the background, Gary Leith lead the Hammers out onto the pitch. 

Scottish kicked to start the match and Hammers returned with a strong run, some disciplined forward patterns earned a penalty and they edged further down the pitch. A clean take in the line out and a well directed maul put the Hammersmith on the front foot. Charging runs from Rob Fox and Cillian Waldron through the centres pushed the play further into the attacking 22. The loose forwards of Scottish were stalking every ruck but unfortunately gave up a penalty 5 out from the line. Lining up for the set play anticipation was high, Billy Rylance picks the ball and drives a pack over the try line, appealing the grounding to the referee, when there are clearly 2 bodies under the ball.  

Another scrum 5 out an this time the ball is passed wider to James Watson who breaks for the line and with and outstretch arm scores a try right next to the posts. With the conversion confirmed the Hammers make it 7-0,  as they head back to the centre. 

The restart from Scottish is wayward and travels straight out of play, and Hammers capitalise from the scrum with a solid link up between the centres, back into positive territory.  Again the organised forward patterns have the Hammers moving forward, Gary Leith sees an opportunity and makes a sniping run, a couple of the Scottish players see this and decide Gary would be better without a head. Keeping his head, just, Gary marches the play down the field with a kick to set up for an attacking line out. Another controlled maul sets the play which results in Billy Rylance driving through over the try line making no mistake and clearly grounding the ball this time. The unfaltering boot of Eldredge makes it a clean 14 points. 

The kick is clean but Hammersmith fumble the catch, the ball is regathered and the attack is on down the short side, Sol makes a short but skillful run before kicking the ball downfield into touch clearing the defensive territory. Scottish set a full line for the throw but with a sneaky trick play hit the jumper at 2 who feeds it back to the hooker, he is away down the side line and bursts through two red shirts, he is away until he is forcibly stopped by Watson’s head. Time is off as both players took a big hit. Play resumes and Hammers get a good drive on the  scrum where they have been dominant all day, the ball comes cleanly and good meters are gained through the open field. Unfortunately too many metres as the back runner is isolated and the quick to counter ruck Scottish earn the penalty. Pushed back to the half line for the line the Hammers have the support of their bench right behind the hooker. James Roche and Bob Davies have been all over the defensive line out  and this one is no different, stealing it out of the air. Hammersmith send it wide and charge down the field. Sol is cut down before he can score in the corner, but support arrives to secure the ball.  A couple of mid field crashes by the forwards draw the defence in and Hammersmith look to send it wide, not the cleanest of set ups, but good recovery in the hands of Waldron and Lewis Stenson put Ralston in space to score in the top corner. The sometimes faltering boot of Eldredge can’t add to the score and it stands at 19-0. 

Half Time Hammersmith 19 – London Scottish 0 

Hammers restart the second term with a solid kick, which goes to one of London Scottish’s solid runners who charges right into the pack requiring multiple bodies to bring him down. Some half time changes bought further firepower to the Scottish centres who tool the next hit up again making good gains for the athletic Scottish team.  On the front foot Scottish looked to spin it wide but Josh Petit had other ideas and as the ball travelled through the air an out stretched Petit intercepted, gathered and continued on his way through open space to dot down 5 points of his own. The increasingly faltering boot doesn’t help and the score is at 24-0.  

A good take by Scottish sees them bring play back into the Hammers half. Full of energy and with plenty of players keen to run the ball Scottish pick up the pace of the play bringing into the game the pace of their wingers. Solid covering defence by the back 3 make sure neither get through and do a good job of putting them into touch. Time is off as Petit has his jackling hand taped back together which gives the team a chance to catch their breathe. Another line out stolen by the Bob-Roache towers and the play crashes into mid-field, only to be turned over again by some isolated running. The Scottish scrum holds together and the ball is out cleanly but confusion in the backs causes it to go to ground, the referee deems it to be a free ball  which is taken advantage of by Hammersmith. The ball goes wide right and into the hands of Ultan, returning for his first game since injury. You wouldn’t know though as he builds speed and cuts a swathe through 3 defenders, still the fullback to beat he casually draws the man and passes to where, if he were 10 years younger and hadn’t been on tour the previous week, Andrew Rogan would have been. Instead Rogan is lagging a metre or so off the pace and watches the ball sail over the touch-line, missing the opportunity of a certain try and in this act earning himself tin man.  

Play is resumed and through strong defence Hammers win the ball back, Probably Petit in there somewhere.  A quick tap of the ball had Scottish on the back foot with and overlap, clean hands saw Lewis outrun a diving fullback to place the ball down and keep the scoreboard ticking over. Conversion unsuccessful. 29 – 0. 

Hammersmith receive the kick and push their way down field through solid work from the forward pods. Some undisciplined play is creeping into the Hammersmith game as everyone is feeling confident, pinned for not releasing Scottish receive a penalty, not wasting any time, they tap and catch the Hammers on their heels a couple of quick passes and some fancy footwork sees the Hammers defence scrambling, but it is too late, the line is broken and they can only chase as the Scottish speed beat them under the posts for 5 points of their own.  A neat conversion makes it 29-7 with not long to play. 

Hammersmith use the opportunity to bring on fresh legs switching up their halves combination to their younger scrum half Dave Buchanan and John McManus to flyhalf. After a wake up call of the line being broken, the focus is back onto the team structure.  Strong carries from Tim through the mid-field bring the momentum back the Hammers way and controlled play earns a penalty on the half way line which McMannus advanced to 10 out with an outstanding kick. The line out is taken and the drive is on falling just short of the line, Scottish defence is strong and pushes back against the forward hit ups several phases result in no advantage gained until Rylance picks a mismatch, gets some speed and punches the line breaking through for his second. McManus takes over kicking duties and is closer but cannot add points this time. 34 -7 

With only minutes to play London Scottish are laying it all on the line some loose passing and isolated running result in Hammersmith ending up with the ball edging their way further down the field. Scottish find themselves again defending on their own try line which they do successfully for several phases, but as the Hammers offensive line spreads out an overlap is created on the blindside, quick hands and the ball is out to Eldredge who steps back inside, with an excellent decoy by Roche on the outside, is over the line and puts it down to take the score to 39 – 7. 

Full time Hammersmith 39 – London Scottish 7  

Man of the Match: Josh Petit & Sol Lucas            

Tin man : Andrew Rogan 


Rylance x 2, Watson, Ralston, Petit, Stenson, Eldredge 


Eldredge x 2  

Hammers 4s v Kilburn – Match Report

’was an overcast Saturday with heavy rain overnight, waterlogged pitch which played in the favour of Kilburn Cosmos large pack. Some were playing through their heads the loss earlier in the season with Jonny Sexton style 45m drop goal in the dying minutes to take a win for the Cosmos on the holy land of Hurlingham Park.

The warm up looked slick and the lads were up for the battle knowing the odds were partially against them from a league positioning perspective. This did not phase the Lads routine and commitment. Knowing we had the direction of De Wolf, Will Parker (beer bench due to suspected broken neck/thumb) and Tillbrook (c) the tables would be turned with structure, structure, structure.

The game kicked off, boy did the hammers apply the pressure, for the first five minutes Cosmos couldn’t leave their last third. Everyone on the pitch and the beer bench swing lowing in full force could see a try coming. They were not disappointed a well executed and dominating driving maul put us  to five metres out then some quick hands to Hamish who executed the chance with no hesitation. Five-nil to hammers.

After the kick off some against the play Cosmo pressure and little lack of discipline from the Hammers gave them an opportunity to come away with points.

Five – three….. then another try for the Cosmos which was not converted from a bit of sloppy play and a turnover from the Hammers trying to exit their 22. After some strong words from Tilbrook the Hammers started to front up again, with some blistering pace down the wing from Emmett (11) and Mark Bishop (15) yards were being gained then after a lost ball the Cosmos were on the attack. Matt Perry (9) who had been bossing it from behind the pack decided to put his body on the line but sadly did not come out well and the stretcher of Parker and De Wolf was needed. Ed Brown (9) came on knowing he had a point to prove (as he arrived very very late… tin man possibility). The game started open up, we went wide but sadly George (13) had to retire from international duty due to a legacy knee injury.
A bit of Cosmos pressure followed, then on the attack, Ed Brown (9) put up a box kick which was duly chased by Eldridge and Brown. The Cosmos 15 didn’t know what to do, he half committed but the full commitment of the Hammers boys saw Eldridge gather inside the 22 and pass outside him selflessly to Kris Conor to convert.

Notable injury around the 30 minute mark for George legacy knee issues, will be a big loss for the rest of the season.

The first half then stagnated with piles of pressure from the Cosmos and a solid line of defence from the Hammers which they were unable to break. Although we got away with some ill-discipline  as the Cosmos were unable to convert 2 penalties.

The first 15 minutes of the second half was very much the same as the latter stages of the first. Continual Cosmo pressure until the larger Cosmos pack finally rolled over the line to what looked like a dubious grounding but was awarded none the less.

This put the Hammers into over drive. Pressurising the Cosmos with some flare knowing they needed to bring a W home.
Quick snipe from 9 with Emmet outside him pass was about to be completed and Emmett had been smashed without the ball and was out cold. The Hammers boys were screaming for a penalty as Emmett was clear through, when he came to he had a Mark Bishop golden lock within the cut, so a notable hammer on hammer collision!

Hammers still trailing by a converted try, Ed Brown tried to gain some yards with a well weighted box kick that their winger collected in the air. A steam rolling slightly overweight 9 was on his way and there was no stopping him. The winger had not quite made it to the ground (all of 1” according to the beer bench) and was hit rather hard. Was this a yellow card offence, the Cosmos seemed to think so but the referee thought that it was a 50/50 challenge and awarded the Cosmos a penalty. A lucky break for the hammers to not have gone down to 14 men.

Some notable yards gained as the game was coming to its close with the Cosmos sitting back trying to slow the game down knowing they could no longer play the route one rugby that has turned so many other teams over. The backs were in the zone with the well drilled moves, commitment in the ticks and some quick ball.
Hammers scrum, the referees watch was beeping as the ball was fed in to the scrum. Some same way rugby opened up an over lap that was spotted, the ball was shipped from 9 to 12 to Mark Bishop who committed the defender and we had a 2 on 1 sympathetic pop to Kris on the wing outside the 5m line.  The clock hit 81 mins and Kris was in, the beer bench, the players were besides themselves. It was like the moment Johnny Wilkinson sat in the pocket and time seemed to stop….. the ball was knocked on…. the whistle blew for full time… then the flood gates started!!!

Thanks to De Wolf and Parker for making this an epic season.
The beer bench deserve a special mention, at times I felt like a Welshman in the principality stadium.
Some notable hits from Tillbrook, eldridge and Tommy.

Mom – Eldridge
Tin man – Ed Brown (horrendous admin and punctuality)
Debutants – George Evans, Andy Punter and Charlie McCarthy.

Hammers 5s v Twickenham – Match Report

Warmer temperatures graced West London as the V’s looked to turn up their own season to inferno-like temperatures away at Twickenham. The hosts were sat above us in 2nd and hadn’t lost for some time.

The Hammers began well keeping possession and battering away at the oppo line. Soon SBW spotted a ginger Devin Toner in the line and gleefully skipped through before a never before seen, chip and chase resulted in a line out to Twickenham around their 5 metre line.

After good yards from Whitechapel and Paul Davey, the Hammers were soon over the line with a tap and go from Wyss.

With a 5-0 lead the next 20mins or so found the hammers stuck in their own half, but essentially defending like troopers. An embarrassing call for the posts from a Twickenham penalty resulted in an even more embarrassing miss and they were about to be taught a lesson for that decision. A no.8 scrum pick up in the hammers own half got momentum going before the Mitchell brothers combined majestically with Whitechapel who went over to finish a move that started some 75 yards back. Taking the V’s in 10-0 at the break.

An emerging theme for the game became the lack of kicker for the hammers. 6 different men did step forth. 6 different kicks. 6 misses to touch……despite that we got back up their end and after great composure on the line it came down to no.8 vs winger, at which point there was a cry of “lord have mercy upon my soul” and a try was indeed scored.

The tempo of the game was extremely high it must be said, and finally the oppo broke through after a few shirt grabbing attempts in the backs and some twinkle toes from Butter Beans Bigger Brother rounding a tired Hammer. With 20 left the score was 15-5

Keeping things calm and looking after the ball paid off soon after, with the defence being sucked in by the forward ball carriers, Jamie Drysdale skipped through a tackle or two 35 yards out and touched down for a welcomed bit of meat.

With 10 left most of us could barely stand, but with some quick thinking and quicker feet from Charlie Allen, sniping from the ruck and a deft offload combining with the basketball training of Whitechapel, paid off as he weaved through again for 30-40 yards out and go under the posts to bury a now feebled Twickenham. With Stiven Danby now on the pitch, the extras were slotted to make the final score 29-5.

Al Hamilton – 7

Ever elusive in the loose, but a solid front row performance must be attributed to some of his good work in that area.

Stiven Danby – 6

Suggestions of mis-placed hair straighteners led to a late arrival and a brief appearance off the bench for this usual starter. His place-kicking boot was missed in the first half for sure.

Angus Hortop – 7

A very solid day around the park with some effective carries to go with being a part of a very sturdy front row action.

James Mitchell – 9

Two vital turnovers bailed the team out when under pressure in their own half on both occasions. Plenty of hard yards made with ball in hand and robust in defence as usual.

Dan Kenney – 7

Busy all over the park. An all around positive outing minus the headlock tackle.

Michael Cusition – 9

Firing into the line like a freshly polished shotgun. Hitting as hard as a bucking horse, whose brains had just been introduced to a led filled cartridge or two. Relentless.

Jack Mitchell – 8

Thrived as the game become more broken up in the second half. Some textbook chop tackles helping his side gain turnover or two.

Mark Wyss- 8

Ton of yards made and two meat pies. Couple of defensive lapses against smaller ratty opposition who didn’t fancy running straight.

Charlie Allen – 6

This young man dealt well with the frequent change of position throughout the game, before finding himself delivering a few pee-roller passes at scrum-half in the latter stages of the game. Thrives best in open space – similar to Gareth Thomas.

Antoine Bourgalt – 7

The extra protein shake before the game really helped him deliver a solid first half, feeding his runners with succulent ball at all times. Sadly he went a bit too ‘Va Va Room’ and tackled a player before retreating 10 – resulting in a yellow card for the flamboyant Frenchman.

Felix Whitechapel – 8

Came on strong when it mattered with two second half tries to shut out the game. Top notch support running.

Ben Hubert – 5

Some catching practise (and Beta Blockers) may need to be involved in next weeks training schedule.

Paul Davey – 7

A very strong first half, weaving his way around like a hyperactive scatty scuttlebutt, making great yards in the opposite 22. Few link up problems with his inside man made for a more quiet second half. Defensively very sound.

Jamie Drysdale – 7

The man known as the ‘Bolton Basher’ held his own very well against in the first half, before really coming alive in the second half with a try to really take the game away from Twickenham. A performance to re-ignite the memories of Kevin Maggs romping down the park.

Rory Newton – 9

Not featuring too often in the match (through not fault of his own), the brother of Peter Saigen and cousin of Naro Quintana showed excellent decision making and pace to run the ball back from deep well into the opposition half. He looks to have made the right choice in hanging up the racquet and switching sports.

Betram Darcy – 6

A good effort late on in the match. Otherwise, probably the most sexy linesman I’ve ever seen.

Michele Bongiorni – 6

Some good bursts of pace, and often demonstrated the guile of Diego Dominguez. Caught napping a little on a grubber kick through, but otherwise very solid from our favourite y-front model.

Man Of The Match:

Michael Cusition

Tin Man:

Antoine Bourgault


Wyss (2), Whitechapel (2), Drysdale.