And a lookback at a successful 2013
On Saturday 14th December, Hanwell RFC brought to an end their founding year as a club.
Taking on London Japanese in a friendly at Boston Manor, the game was more of a warm up for the club's first annual Christmas Party later that evening.
Unfortunately, the competitive edge of the game itself was removed as the visitors decided to begin the game with uncontested scrums.
It a league game, not competing at scrum time results in that team removing a player from the field of play, but as this was a friendly fixture, Hanwell were happy to continue with both sides using a full compliment of players.
London Japanese are a social side who do not play league rugby, instead choosing to fill their weekends with a mix of training and friendly games all over London.
The added training sessions certainly worked wonders with the visitors handling skills in muddy conditions being of the highest order. Buoyed on by the uncontested scrums, London Japanese were assured easy, quick ball in which to release their backline to run at the home side.
Hanwell certainly suffered as a result of not being allowed to compete at the scrum situation, an area they have consistently done well in this season, but there were no excuses as London Japanese ran out 15-5 winners.
Later that same day, after fulfilling the formalities of hosting a game, the members headed off to Monty's Usha restaurant in Hanwell to begin their club Christmas celebrations. A fantastic time was had by all and the club would like to thank Monty's Usha for their hospitality and fantastic food.
The idea for a rugby club in Hanwell was born in just April of this year when a small group of local rugby players egan the quest to set up a community club in their home town.
Over the summer of 2013, the club hosted free touch rugby sessions in Elthorne Park, open to ladies and gents over the age of 17. This was a spectacular success and will be back in May 2014, bigger and better than before.
The touch sessions, gave Hanwell RFC the chance to spread the word of the new club and the local community were amazing - turning up in huge numbers to try out the sessions.
These Tuesday night sessions also worked as a perfect recruitment campaign as the club managed to gain new players as well as make friends with members of our future rivals - including players from Whitton, SODAM, British Airways, Ealing Trailfinders and London Welsh all turning up for a run out.
In September, having secured a home ground at Boston Manor Playing Fields, the club began their inaugural league campaign with a huge game away to London Welsh - a game which the Exiles dominated from start to finish. Despite the scoreline, the game signified that Hanwell RFC had 'arrived'.
From that first league game, Hanwell went on to win 4 of the next 5 games to establish themselves as a force in their league and at the end of 2013, the club sit in second place with the potential to make the end of season play off games.
Setting up a rugby team from scratch takes a huge amount of work and Hanwell RFC could not have put the club together without the help of the community in Hanwell itself. The club would like to thank everybody personally, but their are simply too many of you. But they would like to specifically thank the following;
Stephen Brooks Photography (@SteBroPhoto)
Mr Nigel Bakhai (@NigelBakhai)
Carline Bender (@ContactusEaling)
The Plough Inn (@PloughInnEaling)
The Brogue Public House
Hanwell Friends Facebook Group
Lastly, a huge thank you to EalingToday.co.uk (@ealingtodaycouk) for continuously putting our story and reports out there for the world to see. We cannot thank everybody enough.
See you all in 2014,
16th December 2013