|Date||30 September 2017|
|Venue||Bank of England Sports Centre|
|Result||L 10 - 19|
|Time played||Normal time|
Bank of England Picquets returned to Bank Lane to get their home fixtures in Middlesex Merit Table IV started against Hanwell RFC, hoping to kickstart their season.
The prior week’s result, with a makeshift side shorn of many regular players, was clearly not representative of the squad’s quality and in the first 20 minutes Bank looked like they were going to stamp their authority firmly on the game. The front 5 were dominant in the scrum, Tony “the Ferret” Bennet was making a mess of the opposition lineout and the game was being primarily played in the Hanwell half. Twenty minutes in Bank were 10-0 up with Hanwell barely having had a sniff. The first try came within 5 minutes from a smart finish from Tom Calnan on debut (with his very first touch for the club) skipping round his opposite number to score in the right hand corner, following a midfield break and good continuity between Ferret and Chris Sawyer. With pressure firmly on the opposition the second try duly arrived 10 minutes later from a typical outside arc break from Ryan Brady, including a great pickup from a very dodgy pass from this report’s author. Both tries unfortunately went unconverted.
Bank’s momentum was then stalled somewhat by a clearly very painful broken rib injury for one of the opposition which resulted in an ambulance and 10 minute delay of the game. When the game restarted, Bank had several other chances before half time, with Ryan being held up just short on almost a carbon copy of the run for his try and a number of driving mauls within the Hanwell 22. However Bank couldn’t quite string the final pass together with the ball hitting the deck in promising positions more than once. A bit of ring rust for a number of players just getting their first game of the season started. With a bit more clinical play the Picquets could (and probably should) have been out of sight by halftime.
Second half, with some changes made at half time, the Bank side lost a bit of continuity and Hanwell came out rejuvenated, running the ball at the heart of the Bank team. Some big hits from debutant Jack aside, Bank began to fall off tackles and started infringing regularly at the ruck giving Hanwell field position from penalties. This eventually led to Hanwell getting ahead with two very similar tries, one converted, running through weak tackling to score. As the final 20 minutes rolled around tiredness set in and Bank rang the changes but were unable to get out of their own half for a sustained period and build the phases with a number of turnovers in the opposition 22 putting an end to promising positions. As the game entered its last 10 minutes Hanwell put an undeserved gloss on the scoreline with a converted try under the posts with five minutes to go.
A real game of two halves but some significant steps forward from the previous week and a lot to build on. With more aggression in the tackle, better support play clearing rucks and a few more passes sticking this result would have been very different. Roll on next week!