https://www.fulhamrugby.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Screen-Shot-2018-07-05-at-14.16.19.png 125 130 mattbaddeley https://www.fulhamrugby.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/logo-cut-out-268x300-268x300.png mattbaddeley2018-11-20 14:09:382018-11-21 16:26:30Hammers 1s v Chiswick
The Hammers came into the big local derby against Chiswick at Fortress Hurlingham having beaten them home and away last year and were keen to continue this trend on Saturday afternoon. Coming off the back of a good away win at Enfield, spirits were high in what is shaping up to be an evenly contested, yet unpredictable division. The visitors had started their season well, and with a newly installed 3G pitch at their home ground, had beaten Harpenden comfortably, a week earlier.
And it was the visitors who started the quicker of the two sides, having gained possession and quick ball, with their outside centre bursting through from 10 metres out to score the first points of the match, which were then converted.
After some questionable touch line “tweeting” from the away side, the Hammers hit back with a sublime move which sure the centre pairing of Chellew and Waldron combine to send Chellew crashing through under the sticks, with Doherty adding the extras. The experienced Fly half was also putting in a monumental shift in defence, arguably being the lightest man on the pitch. However, the visitors hit back again after some sustained pressure, and far too many turnovers conceded by the home side, with their winger running in their second, again converted.
Half time saw the visitors with a seven point lead, knowing they would be up against the wind and an invigorated Hammers side who were yet to hit third gear. And it was the home side, who hit back early, with a delicious cut out pass from Chellew which saw Gee burn his man on the outside and stride into the left hand corner to take the score to 14 points a piece, after a touch line conversion by the ever present Doherty.
Neither side managed to gain any sort of momentum with multiple penalties either way halting progress. But with 12 minutes to go, a failed touchline clearance landed in the hands of Panter who nudged the ball into the corner, before finding its way to Cale Holmes, who duly got himself on the scoresheet. A missed conversation left the score at 19-14 to the home side with 10 to play.
With the clock ticking, the visitors knocked a penalty into the corner and after a well organised catch and drive, and some pick and gos, Chiswick scored in the corner. A missed conversion left the scores at 19-19 with 5 to play. Suddenly, the Hammers were on the front foot again and pushing for that decisive final score. The referee then blew for a penalty for the home side, and a shot at the posts was decided after much deliberation. Up stepped David Panter, whose right boot had perhaps been trapped in the district lines closing doors, and the ball ended up becoming a “grass cutter”. And so the spoils were shared and a much anticipated return leg on Chiswicks new pitch awaits in 2019.
Man of the match: Simon “Chopper” Doherty
Dick of the Day: David “Lawnmower” Panter