Saturday crunch time
Apr 14 2010 By Paul Warburton
LONDON TWO NORTH WEST
Hammersmith & Fulham 25 Grasshoppers 5
HAMMERSMITH & Fulham are forced to play the two most important games in the club's history back-to-back on Saturday.
The proper first team takes on Colchester for the right to play in London One next season at Hurlingham Park, minutes after the reserves have hopefully pulled off a giant-killing by beating Hampstead in the semi-final of the Middlesex Cup.
The cup is normally a first-team game but, with the prize of the club's highest-ever tier of rugby on offer against the Essex side, it is needs must for secretary Chris Cuthbertson.
"Three or four seasons ago, our first team was about as good as our seconds are today, so we think we'll have two great games regardless," he said.
Hammers made sure of their play-off final against Colchester by easing past Grasshoppers in the last game of the regular season on Saturday.
The win against the Osterley club started with an opening try from wing Jonno Robertson on the end of a six-man move that saw him over in the corner after 20 minutes.
Ryan Dilley shrugged off a bunch of tackles to add to James Weeks's penalty, and Ed Clark took his opportunity from a loose ball at the scrum to dash in for try number three.
Barry O'Sullivan heaved over from the back row to put icing on Hammers' cake, and only a spilled ball from the restart sullied the clean sheet.
However, the second team lost their Merit Table final to London Baa-Baas, as did the fourths against Rosslyn Park. But there were celebrations for H&F thirds as they beat Imperial Medics to lift the club's first senior silverware of the season.