Two clubs, both alike in league…

Two clubs, both alike in league,
In fair West London, where we play our scene,
From an ancient Hammers home win break to new mutiny,
Where OPs big hits made quick Hammers hands unclean.
From forth the line speed of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d centres take their tries;
Those misadventured lineout overthrows
Do with their length bring their coaches’ strife.
The fearful passage of the Hammer’s near-mark’d breaks,
And the continuance of their opponents’ rage,
Which, but the Ref’s whistle end, nought could remove,
Is now the one hour twenty traffic of our veo replay;
The which if you with eagle eyes attend,
What most shall miss, our write up shall strive to mend…

1st Half. Old Priorians RFC. 1st Team Pitch. – 04:23 minutes in 

Hammersmith and Fulham kicked off to Old Priorians, 1st and 2nd place respectively in Regional Thames 1, armed with feet and flair.

Old Priorians – 12:36 minutes in

After an opening 8 minutes of back and forth with both sides showing potential but meeting stern defence the OPs gained a chance at a 45m penalty kick, which was well taken by their 10.

OPs 3 – 0 Hammers

Old Priorians – 27:17 minutes in 

After further ping and pong, Déjà vu emerged as another long penalty chance was presented for the OPs 10 around 40 metres out. This time missed, the Hammers recognised the need for caution in our own half.

OPs 3 – 0 Hammers

Old Priorians – 35:29 minutes in

Straight off an innocuous scrum a neat offload through the Hammers tackle let OPs centres join up and evade cover to make 30 metres to the line. The first lapse in the Hammers defence, and the pressure mounted. Some saving grace as the OPs 10 again faltered in the wide conversation.

OPs 8 – 0 Hammers

Hammers – 53:30 minutes in 

After much more a muchness the Hammers made a push in the final act of the first 40.  Two breaks in under a minute showed the danger the Hammers could pose, with the line twice tantalisingly close. But OPs dug in and covered well, forcing a spill and the close of the half.

Teams exit for halftime

OPs 8 – 0 Hammers

2nd Half begins – 60:57 minutes in

After a halftime talk Henry V would be proud of, the Hammers came out intent make amends for the frustrations and near-misses of the first half.

Old Priorians kick off to Hammersmith and Fulham with an 8 point lead and 40 minutes to play.

Hammers – 68:09 minutes in 

Capitalising on a scrum in good field position 10 metres from the OPs line the backs generated quick ball from the resulting ruck. Hart, the Hammers most eligible second row/back row/centre then made it wide to take the pass from Doctor Steve, apply the acceleration, and make it over the line in the corner just ahead of OPs covering party.

Despite lining up with the corner flag Captain Caravan fired a corker between the posts to bring Hammers just one point behind OPs.

OPs 8 – Hammers 7

Hammers – 77:00 minutes in 

With the game finely balanced after OPs quelled the Hammers’ post half-time momentum drama erupted as OPs capitalised on a loose ball to break from the halfway into the Hammer’s 22. A good chase led to a turnover and a moment of opportunity missed by Hammers as OPs piled into the ruck. The Hammers usual vision missed the mismatch as six fast players lined up against tree of the OPs front five across 50 metres of space. Unfortunately, orthodoxy prevailed and hammers box-kicked marginally clear leaving hindsight to rue what could have been. OPs then took another shot at the Hammers line but were held out before play returned to more neutral ground.

Hammers – 100:20 minutes in

As the final whistle closed in the Hammers eventually got the break they’d been working for with a penalty 40 minutes out in front of the posts. Caravan stepped up again and claimed the 3 points, pushing Hammers ahead with just under 10 minutes to play.

OPs 8 – Hammers 10

Old Priorians – 102:03 minutes in

Alas, the Hammers lead was short lived. OPs kicked off and Hammers gathered but got caught napping as the catcher got caught and isolated with the OPs 7 forcing a penalty for holding on in front of the posts. This time the OPs 10 didn’t miss, and returned the lead to the home team.

OPs 11 – Hammers 10

The Final Whistle – 109:44

With everything on the line the final minutes passed slowly, but unfortunately for the Hammers were all too reflective of the game as a whole. Each side cancelled the other out, OPs kick chase playing for field position and Hammers inaccuracies  limited their ability to beat the defensive line on the return despite extended possession.

Hammers lost the ball in contact a final time and OPs kicked it clear for the ref to blow the full-time whistle.

Final Score OPs 11 – Hammers 10


Despite being setback by another 1-point loss, Hammers still have the league title in their sight. With three home games in a row following the final break week of the year the boys will be ready to make amends.