Hammer blow at Hammersmith as Horsham are denied
Horsham had a stunning away win against high flying Hammersmith & Fulham plucked from their grasp with only three minutes remaining in a gripping finish, losing 35-32 in the London one south clash, writes Richard Ordidge..
Despite claiming two bonus points due to the narrow defeat and from scoring four tries, the Green and Whites drop two places to second from bottom following stunning wins for Farnham and London Irish Wild Geese who leapfrog them in the table.
There is however no relegation from London one south this season because of leagues being restructured.
The visitors started quickly when great pressure and field position eventually saw Kyle Fairs score after pressure on the opposition lineout converted from out wide by Oli Chennell.
The hosts then took the lead as Horsham switched off when a quick tap from a penalty saw the ball moved wide to score a try following good work by their left winger.
Horsham levelled at 14-14 with a try from trick play at the lineout and then phase play into the 22 metre area which was well finished by Marcus Condon when the ball was switched back to the blind side.
Horsham scored two quick tries going into the break to secure the four try bonus point.
A counter attack try from good pressure saw the ball moved through three pairs of hands and well finished by Henry Warwick, then a try from defensive pressure in the centres saw James Keyworth pass to Condon to finish well which was converted by Chennell for a comfortable 14-26 half-time lead.
This was to be the last time Horsham seriously threatened to score as Hammersmith & Fulham ramped up the pressure in the second half.
Despite Chennell kicking two further penalties, Horsham incurred yellow cards to Jordan Smith and Sam Jenkins.
Hammersmith & Fulham took advantage to score three further tries, including the hammer blow at the end of the match.
Horsham head of rugby Nick Stocker said after the game: “Another frustrating day at the office- this time losing out with only two minutes to play.
“Indeed Hammersmith & Fulham were gracious enough to say that the better side lost, although that doesn’t make it any easier.
“With a much-changed side due to availability, the trip to central London was always going to be a tough match but the effort and aggression on display caught our hosts out from the start.
“We dominated territory and possession for much of the first half building a good lead and securing a try bonus point by half-time through a variety of means.
“Defensively we were sound throughout, especially in the face of a team throwing caution to the wind in seeking desperately to score in the second half.
“In the end our discipline caught us out and two yellow cards were instrumental in the outcome.
“All the team put in a great effort and the spirit was excellent throughout.
“Particular mention of Marcus Condon, Oli Chennell and James Keyworth in the backs alongside Jack Osgood, Adam Clarkson and Sam Jenkins in the forwards for the shifts they put in.
“Player of the match was awarded by Hammersmith & Fulham to Oli Chennell for a fine kicking display.
“This week, we need to dust ourselves off and this time get the result over the line against Farnham.
“The visitors had a big win last weekend and will be confident on their travels.
“With a vice president’s lunch and a last home game before Christmas, it promises to be a big day.”