Hammers get the double on local rivals Ironsides!

After a narrow lost to Chichester in the previous game, Hammersmith and Fulham 1XV were looking to come back strong in their local derby against Battersea Ironsides. It was a gloomy afternoon with the rain teasing us throughout the warm-up, looking like the skies would open at any moment. At least the pitch wasn’t waterlogged which made a change from the previous few weeks and there was good support on the touchline as the 2s game was cancelled.

Hammersmith and Fulham kicked off with the wind behind them and had a strong line-out drive nearing the opposition 22 but couldn’t quite hold on to the ball. A few scrums later, the Hammers started putting some phases together with good ball retention, culminating in high-flyer Tim Russell finishing off a well worked move in the corner. First blood to the Hammers! From the kick off, Hammersmith and Fulham were unable to exit and several phases of Battersea pressure enforced some strong defence to be applied. Eventually Adam Scaffardi was able to turn the ball over and we cleared our lines. From the next scrum, scrum half Ross Anderson struck a perfectly weighted kick into the opposition 5 metre line for a 50-22, giving us strong field position. A composed lineout and drive provided the platform for a well-executed backs move for Pete Bicknell to go break through the line and score.

The Hammers put their foot to the throttle and were able to score next. After a scrum on the half way line, captain Joe Carolan put a perfectly weighted kick through to allow Pete Bicknell to score his second try of the day; one try away from the bonus point after 20 minutes. Unfortunately, Battersea were next to score through a Hammersmith handling error just outside their 22 and they were able to go 60 metres under the post. Following the restart, after a sustained period of pressure, the boys were able to score a well worked lineout drive through second row Tom Proctor to secure the bonus point! For the remaining 10 minutes of the first half, Battersea were camped in our 22, with constant ‘pick and go’s’ from the ruck and after several penalties and strong defensive effort from Hammersmith and Fulham, they eventually were able to score.

Battersea commenced the second half and were able to sustain pressure in our 22 despite a few handling errors, but we weren’t able to exit fully. The first 20 minutes of the second half were mostly played in the Hammersmith half with possession switching hands regularly and no points scored. Then after quick ball for Hammersmith and Fulham, Joe Carolan put in a ‘small dink’ which winger Tim Russell was not only able to collect but also offload back to Joe and bring us 10 metres out from the Battersea try line. The lineout was lost, nevertheless Hammersmith and Fulham were still on their 22 and after another great backs move, Tim Russell pierced the gap and was able to step the full back and score in the corner. Battersea were able to stay in touch by responding with another try after putting together a few good phases through the middle. Hammersmith and Fulham continued to apply pressure and after a break from Pete Bicknell followed by quick hands, James Lo on his 150th Hammersmith and Fulham 1XV appearance was able to score a well-deserved try in the corner. Massive congrats to J Lo! The end to end match continued with Battersea scoring fairly soon after, this time in the corner.

In the final 5 minutes, Hammersmith and Fulham really turned up the heat. Another line break from Man of the Match Angus, who had carried well all game, set up Sean McMahon to score after a cheeky inside ball from a backs move. From the kick-off, Hammersmith decided to add some flair and play out of the 22. Marshall Macleod made a great break to give Tim Russell another hatrick, a try from 70 metres out and a great way to finish the game. You may have noticed I have not mentioned conversations throughout as there were not many that were made on the day due to the ‘windy conditions’…

The 1XV now look forward to a top of the table clash away at London Welsh on Saturday 12th March.


Tim Russell X3

Pete Bicknell X2

Sean McMahon X1

James Lo X1

Tom Proctor X1


Joe Carolan X3