Hanwell miss out on first home game against Twickenham
Hanwell returned to league action at home to the league leaders Twickenham IV's.
This was always going to be a close affair with the last game between the two sides ending in a draw. The conditions were pretty awful for both sides, with howling gusts of wind blowing across the field resulting in both sides keeping the ball for long periods of time within their forward packs.
The game began with the wind behind Hanwell. Whilst this allowed the home side to dominate territory, in reality both teams managed good, solid periods with the ball in hand.
The visitors were the first of the two sides to get their backs into the game, resulting in a fast, sweeping move deep into the home team's 22. A great cover tackle saved the try - with Twickenham taking the ball into touch.
Hanwell took the lineout, which the agile Twickenham lock managed to disrupt enough for the ball to go loose, eventually being cleared to safety by the home side.
It didn't take long for Twickenham to get back into the Hanwell half, with yet another solid move - started by the pack & finished by the backs - resulted in a try for the visitors. With the wind causing havoc for the kickers, Twickenham's flyhalf was unable to add the extras and the game restarted with the scores Hanwell 0 - Twickenham 5.
Yet again, the hosts pressured the visiting side's 22. Eventually, as had been the way for the Twickenham score, the Hanwell pack put together some phases before releasing the backs who fed the ball wide to winger Kenny Hassan to run into the corner to score.
Despite the benefit of the wind being behind the hosts, the conversion was narrowly missed to leave the scores Hanwell 5 - Twickenham 5.
Shortly afterwards, a storming run from Hanwell lock Ashley Chapman was enough to cross the visitor's tryline, only for the referee to (harshly) call the play back for an injury to Twickenham's lively scrumhalf.
By now, Ashley was on fire and it wasn't long before he again bulldozed his way over the line. This time some incredible Twickenham defence managed to hold the ball off the ground to prevent the score.
Hanwell then had a series of scrums on the visitor's 5m line and really should have managed to convert that pressure into points, but the Twickenham defensive line held firm to end the half Hanwell 5 - Twickenham 5.
The second half was less dynamic than the first, with both sides holding onto the ball for long periods of play.
The hosts were penalised for being offside on the half way line and in a surprising move by the visitors, they opted to kick for goal. Even with the wind behind them, it would take an almighty effort to nail this kick. But it was an immense kick by the flyhalf who cleared the crossbar with plenty to spare. Hanwell 5 - Twickenham 8.
Soon afterwards, the home side's discipline let them down again and yet another difficult kick at goal sailed over to extend the away team's lead to 6 points (Hanwell 5 - Twickenham 11).
With the difference less than a converted try, Hanwell pressed hard for a try. For a while, it looked like they would get it, but again good defensive effort held them out.
In the rush to score, another offside against Hanwell resulted in yet another penalty. This time, the ball edged along the post but was again successful.
With 2 minutes to go, Hanwell didn't give up, with Paul Doherty releasing Adam Dipper on the halfway line for a run in to the corner. Deep inside the visitor's 22, Adam, offloaded in the tackle, which bounced kindly for John Bodman to step inside the defender to score a consolation try. Unfortunately, a late whistle by the referee called play back for a forward pass - depriving the hosts of a losing bonus point.
The game ended with Twickenham kicking into touch from the resulting scrum. Final score - Hanwell 5 - Twickenham IVs 14.
13th January 2015