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Match Report by Wayne Allum
Hanwell start 2016 and go second.
Following the festive season, it was back to business in the Merit table and Hanwell faced Twickenham IVs in the return game. Following a week of wind and torrential rain, the groundsman at Boston Manor deemed the pitch to be waterlogged, Twickenham were gracious enough to once again host our fixture at their ground.
So to the match, Hanwell kicked things off and gained great territory, deep in the Twickenham 22. Twickenham, under pressure in their half are penalised at the breakdown and Hanwell are awarded a penalty- opting to kick for a line out.
Hooker Jon Atkins hits his man with the throw in and Hanwell safely lock in the ball to the maul and the pack charge forward resulting in a try for Neal Fetterman. Despite difficult conditions, Kevin Falvey's trusty boot gets the extras. 7-0 to Hanwell.
Following the restart, Hanwell secure the ball and play with composure, keeping Twickenham in their half for a good ten minutes.
Myles Cavendish, the steadfast Hanwell flanker, suffered a knock to the head and left the field (later diagnosed with a concussion).
The break in play gave Twickenham time to recompose themselves and the game restarted with a change of tactics, the new hosts deciding to play wide at every opportunity.
From excellent backs play, this they get a try in the corner to close the gap. With the conversion out very wide and in difficult conditions, it is no surprise that the kick is missed (Jonny Wilkinson would have had his work cut out to nail it!). 7-5 to Hanwell.
Hanwell collected the restart and began to once again earn a stronghold in the game. Charlie Kay kicks a long ball up to the Twickenham 22 and with conditions as difficult as they were, the full back unfortunately knocked the ball forward.
From the resulting scrum, Hanwell get a drive on and begin to march their opposition pack back towards their try line. Michael Jones scoring his first try for Hanwell since he joined this season.
Again in very wet and windy conditions, the conversion was missed and Hanwell went in at the break 12 - 5 up.
The second half began with both sides pushing hard, with a real end to end battle with great defence from both teams.
Twickenham once again put together an impressive move to break away to score a try in the corner to close the gap to just 2 points.
On another day, in better conditions, the kickers for both sides could have had an impact on this game, however the day wasn't one for kicking and another conversion sailed wide.
For the remainder of the game, both teams went at it hammer and tongs. It was like any previous game between the two sides where a good competitive battle for victory was there to see.
With both sides coming up short when close to 10 metres, the pace and determination did not waver right up until the final whistle.
Full time, Hanwell 12 Twickenham IVs 10.
Hanwell and Twickenham IVs have created themselves a really good rivalry, which began last season in Merit 6 and has continued with both sides earning promotion into Merit 5. This season has been no different, with two close fixtures and the probability that the two could yet meet again in the play offs.
Once again, many thanks to Twickenham for hosting the game with very late notice and we wish them well in their remaining games this season.