Whitton Lions 3 - Hanwell 15.
Hanwell travelled to their friends and rivals Whitton Lions on Saturday 25th October, for league a game that was anything but friendly.
The game itself was neither dirty or foul tempered, however it was certainly a tight, scrappy affair typical of two clubs who know each other so well.
Image courtesy Stephen Brooks
Hanwell came into the game unbeaten in the last four games and with the second best defensive record in the league (in terms of points conceded). Hopes were high of a good, competitive game of running rugby in the Autumn sunshine.
What was delivered was more like a boxing match, with two seasoned pros battling it out in the centre of the ring, both waiting for the knockout punch to land.
Whitton hit first, when Hanwell infringed in a kickable position early in the first half, their flyhalf nailed the penalty through the posts to take a 3-0 lead.
Hanwell have developed a habit of coming from behind to win this season and the penalty was an early indication that once again the visitors had a game on their hands.
The remainder of the first half was again two teams trying to bludgeon their way through the opposition defence. Neither side creating much in terms of chances and with the majority of the action happening in the centre third of the pitch.
Half time score; Whitton Lions 3 - Hanwell 0.
Hanwell came out in the second half with more focus and determination to close the gap. The changes in the Whitton and Hanwell packs had tipped the scrum and lineouts in the visitors favour having been very much 50/50 up until then.
This became the area which began to make the difference. Hanwell were able to march Whitton back in the scrum and provide clean ball for the backs to run at the home side.
A break from Phillip Nolan, opened up a gap in the Lions defence which he took and offloaded out to the backs for centre Kenny Hassan to score the first try of the game far our wide in the corner.
A difficult conversion was missed, but Hanwell had taken the lead 3-5.
A short while later, the visitors were back in the Whitton 22, with David Lowney going close to scoring in the same corner as his centre partner had earlier on.
A couple of phases later, a scrum won against the head gave the Hanwell pack scrappy ball that was fed quickly out to middle of the park, where lock Ashley Chapman stuck out an arm to claim a try near the posts.
The referee had a close look and concluded the ball had been lost forward in the act of scoring and the try was not to be given.
The resulting scrum, was won cleanly be the visitors who put centre David Lowney in under the posts for a seven pointer (Darren Breen collecting the conversion).
The game continued with Hanwell 3-12 ahead and with Whitton throwing everything they had at the visitors to try and get back into the game. A penalty converted by fly half Breen extended Hanwell's lead and signalled the Lions final 8 minute siege on the Hanwell 5 metre line.
Great defence, coupled with scrappy play and an injury to the Lions prop meant the game rather fizzled out and the visitors extended their unbeaten run to 5 games without conceding a try in the game.
The win moves Hanwell up to joint third in the league.
Final score; Whitton Lions 3 - Hanwell 15.
23rd October 2014