Hammers open their season with a blinder!

And so the day had arrived! Derby Day! Hammersmith & Fulham Vs London Welsh!

London Welsh kicked off and straight away Hammers were under pressure, the first 5 minutes were camped in the home sides 22 and only some strong defense kept the visitors at bay. This strong defense proved fruitful for Hammersmith as a loose pass from the Welsh’s fly half was hacked through by Harry Boyd and the 2nd fastest winger on the pitch collected his own kick and ran under the sticks. Converted by Joe Carolan.

After another clean take from kick off, Joe Carolan cleared the ball deep into Welsh’s half with the fullback knocking the ball forward. It was the first bit of pressure Hammer’s could put on; however, the scrum was turned over and the pressure was straight back on the home side. Constant penalties were not helping hammers and after 10 minutes of further pressure scoring. Conversion missed. The penalties continued after kick off and it wasn’t long before Welsh were back camped on Hammer’s line, which proved costly as after some slick offloading rugby saw them gain their 2nd score. Converted by Welsh to make it 7-12. In the period of penalties, Hammersmith’s number 12 Jack Watters was shown yellow.

As Hammersmith kicked off it was time for them to apply some pressure to the away side. After some swift hands from the hammer’s backline, Tim Russell was away up the wing only to be stopped by a high tackle from the Welsh fullback, who was shown a yellow card. Carolan put the ball deep into the Welsh 22 and for the first time in the match Hammersmith were in a solid attacking position. After a clean win in the lineout from Zander Stephens, the maul started rumbling forwards with Andrew Rogan breaking off and diving for the line, however, he was held up and Welsh could clear their lines.

After an extensive period of back and forth, half time was quickly approaching, but after some good passing down the line from the Hammer’s on Welsh’s 22-meter line, the ball ended up in the hands of Tim Russell once more. This proved to be bad news for Welsh as Russell put through an inch perfect grubber which he collected and dived over the line for Hammer’s 2nd try. Carolan converted and the score stood at 14-12. Hammer’s weren’t finished there, the ball was kicked off and taken well by Spicer who carried into the defense and the ruck was set up. The ball was then given to Will Donegan who tipped the ball to Scott Van Berckel, who like a hot knife through butter, broke through the line and he was away, with the Welsh defense catching Scott he tipped the ball to Tim Russell who once again sprinted under the sticks to score Hammer’s 3 try. Carolan Converted, 21-12.

With only 1 minute left on the clock of the first half, Hammer’s conceded a penalty straight from kick off, which led to Welsh deciding to have a shot at the posts which was successful. First half score 21-15.

Carolan kicked off for the 2nd half with Welsh taking cleanly and clearing their lines, Scarr received the ball deep in Hammer’s half and quickly threw it wide to Marshall Macleod who made good ground before being taken down, the ball was quickly spun wide and some scintillating hands from the back line sent Carolan away up the left wing, with the Welsh defense scrambling all he had to do was tip the ball inside to Harry Boyd who ran away under the posts for his 2nd and Hammer’s 4th. Converted by Carolan, 28-15.

As the 2nd half progressed, Hammer’s piled on the pressure with most of the play taking place in Welsh’s half, only ill discipline kept Welsh in it. Hammers brought on some fresh legs with 30 minutes to go, Scarr replaced by Ed Haines, Zak Underwood back on in the front row and Paddy off for Ben Dugdale.

The game started to open up as boys got tired, with both Welsh and Hammersmith breaking the defense on numerous occasions. However, no team could find the pivotal score. With the minutes ticking by and Welsh becoming more and more frustrated, it was Hammers who were next to strike. London Welsh had made good progress into the home sides 22 and looked like they were going to close the deficit, however, Harry Boyd had other ideas, he intercepted a welsh pass on the 5 meter line and stormed up the wing, he didn’t quite have the legs but with an exceptional pass inside he found Tim who finished it off for his hattrick. Converted by Carolan, 35-15.

With the game looking all but over, Hammersmith were not letting off, winning a scrum penalty in front of the sticks for Carolan to slot an easy 3 points. Score 38-15. London Welsh had the last laugh with a final try but it was to no avail. Hammersmith & Fulham win 38-20.

What a game and what a start to the season. Roll on!