Published: 09:50, 17 January 2022
| Updated: 09:51, 17 January 2022
Medway's first-ever visit to Hurlingham Park proved a happy one as they won 29-12 at Hammersmith & Fulham in London 1 South on Saturday.
The Hammers started the day just three points behind Medway with a game in hand so it was a crucial win for Taff Gwilliam's side.
"This was an excellent result for us," beamed Gwilliam. "The Hammers have one of the best back divisions in the league and I was really pleased with the execution of our game plan.
"We were forced to make changes at 10 and 12 and all the boys responded well and were rightfully proud of this win against a quality club."
Medway had the dream start with only three minutes on the clock. Good work off the back of a solid scrum by Jordan Stubbington saw quick ball for Sam Garofalo who fed Alfie Orris. Orris beat his man but was tackled short, his offload was eventually fed out to the opposite touchline for John Sopawa to score an unconverted try.
The good Medway start was based on a solid scrum platform with the front five of Bill Sandison, Maik Timmerman, Richard Petch, Henry Kenny and Mo Pangarker getting on top of their counterparts. Good frontfoot ball saw the home side concede a penalty at the breakdown and Owen Church-Mills made no mistake to put them 8-0 ahead.
The Hammers looked to come back and threatened with their talented back division. Some good attacking phases were rewarded with a penalty. The home side kicked for the corner. The initial catch and drive was stopped but they got the reward they sought with a close-range drive successful, as was the conversion.
Medway were on the scoreboard next on 34 minutes. Sipowa looked set to score but was tackled short, however Beaumont fed Sandison and he powered over from short range for the try converted by Church-Mills.
The second half kicked off with end to end stuff from both teams but good last-minute defence from both sides prevented any score until the 55th minute.
Medway had good field position but waste the lineout opportunity. A scrum was awarded to the home side but Medway's pressure secured a penalty. Medway opt for the scrum and their dominance secured a pushover try from Stubbington. Church-Mills converted to make it 22-7.
Medway made changes with youngsters Jack Nickalls and Michael Fankah replacing Petch and Stimpson.
With Medway looking the dominant side, the next score was not long in coming. On 63 minutes Medway secured an attacking scrum 10 metres out. A quality scrum drive from all eight forwards saw Stubbington’s control at the base rewarded with a second try. The try bonus point was secured and the dependable Church-Mills converted.
Medway added veteran Billy Humphrey to the fray and although both sides had opportunities the final score went to the home side who never gave up.
Back to back penalties saw Hammersmith & Fulham secure good field position and they were rewarded with a good close range effort which was unconverted.
Medway host Farnham in London 1 South this Saturday.