Hammers 4s v Kilburn – Match Report

The Hammers 4’s where looking to get the 2017/2018 season started with a win in their opening league game against Kilburn 2’s at fortress Hurlingham.  Hopes were high given intense preseason all the players had put themselves through. A strong pack and quick back line had been picked to play in conditions that were suited to the quick style of rugby that the Hammers 4’s like to play with.

In the early exchanges, Hammersmith and Fulham were under pressure and after several clearing kicks from the 22 did not clear the lines, Kilburn were on the attack and with a decent chip ahead from their number 10 they were able to retain the ball and cross the line and score an easy five pointer. The fly half popped over the conversion to make in 7-0.

The Hammers piled on the pressure from the restart and won a penalty just outside the oppositions 22. Stand in fly half John Brierly stepped up to try split the posts for the three points however just pulled the penalty out to the left to keep the score at 7-0. After several failed attempts to cross the oppositions try line and some questionable calls from the ref, the Hammers no. 9 Matt Perry found a gap on the fringe of the ruck like as SAS sniper ending a well worked team try. The conversion was easily slotted bringing the scores level. The pressure continued for the rest of the half and with an unconverted try just before the half Hammersmith and Fulham 4’s were 12-7 up. Game on!

The second half started in the same fashion as the first. Sloppy errors allowed Kilburn to score an early converted try to make the score 14-12. Not long after that, Kilburn gave away a penalty 48 meters out, John Brierly stood up to take the penalty thinking he was the hammers equivalent of Elliot Daly, however the kick attempt fell just short. Handling errors then cost the hammers another try as a kick through by Kilburn off a miss placed pass was dotted down on the try line by the oppositions winger, with the missed conversion the score moved to 19-12.

Then came a moment of absolute ‘see it to believe it’ from front row sub Seb Money. After a quick pass from scrum half Will Desprez, Seb charged at the Kilburn steam rolling through the multiple tackles. Quick ball from the base of the ruck left Kilburn scrambling in defence letting Hamish Barker to stroll through at the corner to bring the scores back to 19-17. The Hammers were soon back on the attack and after several penalties on the opposition 5m line from Kilburn, the ref pulled out the yellow to send one of their players to the bin. Sustaining the pressure via forward dominance, Tillbrook eventually barged over to take the score to 22-19 to the Hammers.

However soon after the restart Kilburn got a penalty which was converted by their eagle eyed 10 who hadn’t missed a kick all day to make the score 22-22. Despite being one man down Kilburn carried on playing the positive rugby they had all day and the Hammers found themselves on the defensive again. With the clock ticking down in the final moments the Kilburn fly half landed a professional-esque drop goal to take the score and result away for the Hammers at 25-22. The match was contested to the last whistle with the hint there may be a late try from hammers with a penalty on the final play however after playing 80 minutes at 100% it was just too much for the Hammers who got held up in contact bring an end to the exciting first game of the season.

Man of the match went to Kane Hands for playing a superb match, most of it out of position at prop.

Tin Man went to Seb Money for losing the kicking tee and bringing on a different (broken) one which he had used to clean the pitch of dog poo.

Teams Debuts: Matthew Perry, Oli Scholes