Successful First Season For Hanwell Rugby Club

Fifth position in table for newly formed team

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Image with permission Stephen Brooks

Hanwell RFC

Hanwell RFC Post Solid Win



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It was in relaxed fashion that Hanwell RFC completed their inaugural season. Overall, the season will be classed as a success, albeit as a stepping stone for bigger and better things.

During the season, the club came up against very experienced teams such as; Harlequins Amateurs, London Welsh Amateurs, Staines RFC and eventual league winners the Crags Crusaders.

Despite the high quality competition, Hanwell remained competitive in each and every game. The club fielded a team in every game of the season - in a league where three clubs withdrew due to lack of players.

In the Merit Table, Hanwell finished just outside the play off places in 5th position and also competed well in the Middlesex Federation Vase Competition - losing narrowly in the semi-finals.

So with the competitive games over and with the club's new sponsored playing shirts ready for their first outing, an end of season friendly was hastily put together away to Hayes RFC.

The game had a Barbarian feel to the proceedings with both sides committed to playing running rugby.

Hayes were first on the scoreboard with their forwards powering over the line following a tap penalty on Hanwell's 5 metres. The conversion failed to go over and Hayes led 5-0.

The visitors hit back immediately with a turn over from the restart. The Hanwell pack began to make inroads into the Hayes defence with a series of pick and go moves. Eventually, scrum half Craig Carroll spun the ball wide for Kenny Hassan to break through a couple of tackles to run in a try out wide.
With Hanwell also missing their kick at goal, the scores were even at 5-5.

Hayes by this point were struggling with the Hanwell scrum, with the visitors consistently winning both their own put in and the home sides. It forced Hayes into making a change at hooker to try and stem the tide.

In open play however, both sides were better in attack with Hayes running some beautiful lines to create overlaps out wide - eventually running in another unconverted try to take a 10-5 lead.

The game was swinging like a pendulum and once again Hanwell hit the Hayes line hard with Kenny Hassan breaking tackle after tackle to somehow force himself over the line for his second of the game.
With the conversion missed again, the scores were once again level this time at ten apiece.

In the second half things were no different than the first, with Hanwell first to strike when a tap penalty was popped to Peter Nolan, who hit the defensive line hard before recycling the ball to his brother and club captain Steve Nolan to fall over the line to score.

The conversion struck the upright but somehow managed to bounce the wrong side of the post, leaving the scores 10-15 to Hanwell.

With Hanwell not reacting quickly enough, Hayes once again put some good moves together to release their backs for another score in the corner - which again went unconverted.

With the scores once again tied, the game became dominated by set pieces. Hayes' change of hooker failed to change the scrum dominance with John Bodman winning ball both on Hanwell put in and also against the head.
Hayes were still putting great backs moves together though and with Hanwell stretched, Kenny Hassan was adjudged to have illegally slowed the ball down in a ruck and was sent to the bin.
From the resulting penalty and with a man down, Hanwell couldn't hold the home side out and another try made the scores 20-15 to Hayes.

With Hanwell back up to a full playing quota, it was a break from the centre pairing of Dan Horner and Jack Ryan, that ultimately put Kenny Hassan away to score his hatrick try. Not that the score was an easy one, with Kenny beating off three defenders to touch down.

As had been the story of the story of the game thus far, the conversion was missed and the scores were again tied - this time at 20-20.

Hayes fought back and weathered a huge Hanwell storm. With the visitors camped in the home side's half for a long period, Hayes broke away to run the final try of the game in to take the spoils 25-20.

"Hanwell Rugby Football Club would not have succeeded this first season without the support of many local people. There are far too many people to thank personally, but would like to specifically thank our sponsor W5 Physio, club photographer Stephen Brooks Photography and also Ealing Today. All three have been a huge support in our first (and toughest) season."


John Bodman


29th April 2014