Bridgnorth 11 - 22 Old Halesonians

National League Midlands

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2016 06:13pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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Hales first team squad travelled to Bridgnorth for a much needed win to re-establish themselves in the league. The Hales squad seemed upbeat with youngsters, Jamie Keen, Kieran Haynes (Colts) and second team back row Luke Irwin in the squad of 18. 

The opening 20 minutes was mainly dominated by Bridgnorth with numerous dangerous attacking moves. The young fit home side tested the Hales defence resulting in 4 penalties conceded over that period. Two penalties were converted for a 6 - 0 lead as Hales tried hard to make their mark. 

After 20 minutes, Hales fly half Ian Briggs left the field on a yellow card as the referee penalised him for a deliberate knock on. Hales had to dig in to gain control. On 21 minutes Adam Clayton took a clean line out ball from Hooker Sam Jones. Chris Danks at scrum half fed Chris Hooper at 10 who slipped the ball to centre Carl Robinson who sprinted for an unconverted try 6 - 5. This gave the visitors the lift they needed and strong running again turned the tide.  

Centre Ben Barkley had a great game, constantly making ground into the home defence. He passed to Robinson, to Clayton on the left flank who fed wing Jay Reid. Reid powered through his opposite number for a try out wide. Hooper took the difficult touch line conversion and slotted between the posts for a 6 - 12 lead.  

Hales continued the pressure with some great turnover ball from the inimitable Neil Mason who led from the front, the half time score stood. Director of Rugby Gary Cox and Head Coach Ben Hughes rallied the players to maintain the momentum.  

On 45 minutes after the restart the visitors put on the pressure, Mason, Taylor and Barkley again showing their presence in defence and attack. Robinson was putting in some immense tackling on anything that moved, his beaming smile said it all.  

Forwards drove again and the ball was slipped inside to Reid gliding through the defence. He fed scrum half Danks to Hooper to tight head prop Taylor who crossed the line for a great team try, converted by Hooper 6 - 19. 

Hales were reduced in numbers again with Clayton receiving a yellow card for pulling down in the line out. The visitors made changes, Rob Butler on at prop for Matt Young, Irwin on for Clayton and Keen on at scrum half for Danks. More pressure by the returning Briggs supported by Mason and Haynes forced a penalty by Bridgnorth, converted by Hooper 6 - 22. 

Hales were in command of the game at this stage although the home side pinched a well-deserved try to pull the score back to 11 – 22 at the finish. 

After the games Hughes said, "This was a fine win after weathering a storm for the first 20 minutes with some great defence. We deserved the victory and showed that we have turned the corner. If we stick to our processes from training we can beat any team in this league" 

Hales meet Broadstreet at home on Saturday, kick off 2.15 pm


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