Evenly Matched Cup Game for Juniors

Old Halesonians RFC

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2015 09:50am
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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Sunday 15th November Old Halesonians U15’s take on Bridgnorth RFC at home in a Cup Match.


Old Hales kicked off, Bridgnorth received the ball well and passed it out the line.  Your correspondent was by chance well-positioned in relation to the Bridgnorth attacking line. The ground was damp and as a result the ball was no doubt a little greasy. I saw the first receiver take the ball very near the ground, and knock it forward, he had his back to the Ref and it was missed, he passed it on to the next Bridgnorth player who also fumbled the ball and lost it in a very obvious knock-on. He recovered the ball and ran, I and all the other spectators waited for the ref’s whistle, but it never came and Bridgnorth ran in a try after the first minute of play. Stunned silence from the Old Hales supporters who could not believe that the referee had missed it.


However, Bridgnorth could not convert and after 4 minutes of attacking play Oscar Crowcombe took the ball from a scrum, picked it up and dove over the line to score. Fin Bridgewater took the conversion and Old Hales were in the lead 7 -5.


The lads played well and special mention must be made of Will Ford who was running the ball in aggressively and was particularly impressive when receiving the ball in a line-out and driving forward. Well done Will.


Ten minutes later and after some excellent play from two very equally matched sides we saw Bridgenorth run in another try, but again they could not convert and they led 7 – 10.


A break in concentration and some speed from a Bridgnorth winger secured them their third try and a conversion.


At half time Bridgnorth was ahead 17 points to 7.


The second half saw Old Hales dominate, with all of the play being in the Bridgnorth half. Every member of the Old Hales team played their socks off, they were like a well-oiled machine driving forward and were rewarded for all the hard work when Henry Thomas made a superb run through the Bridgnorth defence to secure a spectacular diving try (wish I had had a camera as it was one for the Thomas family album). We couldn’t convert, but we were back in the game with 12 points to 17.


Tempers within both squads were rising, did I see one of the Bridgnorth lads elbow one of ours in the face during a tackle, I am not sure, but something lit the fuse and regrettably a couple of the Old Hales lads confronted the offending Bridgnorth players. The referee intervened and it quickly calmed down. He spoke to one of the offending Old Hales player, all sorted we thought, but No. He called over a completely innocent Old Hales player and gave him a Yellow Card. He duly left the field an innocent victim of mistaken identity.


Was this the end, Old Hales down to 14 players, but no, you could not tell they were a player down as Old Hales kept coming forward and after some excellent play Fin Bridgwater ran over to score, but the ref blew his whistle as one of the Bridgnorth players had clashed heads with one of ours and was laid out. Thankfully he was ok and after being replaced, play resumed with a scrum down to Old Hales. At this point the discipline within some members of the Bridgnorth team evaporated and the attempt by a Bridgnorth player to kick one of the Old Hales forwards in the head whilst he lay on the ground in front of the referee led to an immediate red card and his exit from the game. Seconds later and another infraction led to a yellow card for another Bridgnorth player and they were down to 13 players with Old Hales camped out on their try-line. The result was inevitable and Jamie Fletcher crashed over the Bridgnorth line to score, but it wasn’t under the posts and with the score 17 – 17 we needed the conversion to win. It wasn’t to be. It was a draw, but with both teams scoring 3 tries and one conversion apiece the rules said that the Away Team wins. So an excellent game, slightly marred by some bad-tempered play towards the end. Well done lads, you didn’t win, but you did deserve to.


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