Hammers take down spirited Irish

After weeks of firm pitches and Indian Summer rugby we finally saw the arrival of Monsoon season. Boy how we’ve all missed it!

Following a tight loss away to Medway the team’s feeling was that nothing other than a Bonus point W would do. A strong week of training meant the Hammers were in a good place to right the wrongs of the previous fortnight.

From the off the Hammers were keen to play front-foot rugby and to try and throw the ball about. Strong carries across the park gave the Hammers an early five metre attacking scrum. Having been penalised three times in the opening five minutes, Club Captain Rogan pictured himself getting beaten by Seb Money for the third time in a row in a game of Supa-5s. Channelling this aggression he obliterated his opposite man to give Harry Scarr the easiest of touchdowns at the back of the scrum. For most of the first half the Hammers were entirely dominant with the Geese barely able to get out of their own half. Our singular Goose, however, was putting himself about as only a hooker with a back-row complex can do. Two more well-worked tries followed, one from winger/9 Owen “Dominos” Bennett who swapped the XL Meat Feast Pizza for a meat-pie in the corner, and one from Dr. Lean from short-range after relentless forward pressure.

Jacko’s words of wisdom pre –match that “some of you ******s might not touch the ball today” was taken up as a challenge by some. Sean in particular could likely not have told you the brand of rugby ball we were playing with. He did, however, get to know the ankles of the opposition intimately well over the course of 80 minutes.

The middle portion of the game can largely be summarised as scrum, 1 phase, knock on, scrum, penalty, lineout (lost), Bicknell makes 40 metres, knock on, Tim Russell tries something outrageous, scrum etc. The particular highlight was Joe Carolan’s 50m charge-down try in the first play of the second half. The charge down was good, the celebratory dive was excellent!

After this followed a period of Hammers indiscipline and Wild Geese pressure. To credit our opposition, they kept the ball well over many phases and despite a big defensive effort from the Hammers tight 5, eventually powered over from close range.

The conversion for the second try coincided with Sam Nursey stepping the entire Grasshoppers team twice in the same run on the adjacent pitch. This proved the inspiration the Hammers backline needed to provide some final entertainment for our dedicated fans. Having already scored one himself, Joe Carolan unselfishly made sure he didn’t have enough gas in the tank to finish from a Mike Laverly cross-kick, instead offloading out of the tackle for Marshall to score in the corner. From the proceeding kick-off (and last play) the Hammers took the ball from touchline to touchline, and three rucks later Pete Bicknell scored under the sticks.

A particular mention to loyal servant Dr. Lean who played his final game for the club. He ends his Hammers career where he belongs, in the 2nd row. We wish him all the best for his future in the West Country and thank him for his dedication to the club.

Massive thanks to everyone who came down to watch. Not that anyone is counting but we can add another fortnight to our 2 years and 2 month undefeated streak at Hurlingham Park. All in all a cracking Saturday for the club with four wins from four. Terry may need to re-mortgage…