Hales Bonus Win Against Stubborn Sutton

Sutton Coldfield 26 - 45 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2016 10:49pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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Old Hales first team travelled to bottom placed Sutton for a must win bonus point game. The conditions were perfect and the visitors had some changes with Tom Jordan and Luke Smith unavailable through injury.

The opening exchanges favoured Sutton who applied early pressure with forwards and backs combining well to test the Hales defence which stood strong.  The pressure continued from Sutton who were looking to give Hales a difficult day.
Hales returned the compliment with some strong scrummaging with front row Matt Young, Sam Jones and skipper Rich Taylor. The set scrum led to plenty of ball for scrum half Dave Hadkiss and fly half Oli Rayner to set the backs free.
Strong running by centre Ben Barkley and back row Steve Leach and Max Macfarlane made breaks through the Sutton defence with Leach going over for a try, converted by Rayner 0 - 7.
Sutton came back with a penalty 3 - 7.
Hales full back Chris Hooper left the field early with an injury, replaced by Andy Robinson. Hales set off again in attack having soaked up Sutton's driving play. Next on the score sheet was wing Joe  Oxford  for the visitors, he collected the ball wide out and ran through the opposition to score, again converted by the trusted boot of Rayner 3 - 14.
Soon after the kick off Hales again worked up the field with Loz Breese leading the charge. A loose maul was set up, from that Hadkiss fed the backs. Carl Robinson slipped the ball to his brother Andy in the centre who found a gap and scored close to the posts, converted by Rayner 3 - 21.
Sutton came back after the restart, kicking for ground. A line out on the Hales 22 resulted in a drive and maul and a well-deserved unconverted try for the home side 8 - 21 at half time. 
Hales needed to lift their attacking game to get what they wanted out of this fixture.
The second half saw more like the Hales team, some classic inter passing and support play, a strong set scrum close to the home line, a driving scrum and pick up by back row  Owen Jones for a converted bonus point try by Rayner 8 - 28.
Hales were penalised after the restart and a successful kick saw a 11 - 28 lead for Hales. More open play and excellent service by Hadkiss fed along the backs again for Oxford to put down in the corner, again converted by Rayner 11 - 35.
Sutton were not to be outdone and worked their way back up the field to break through the Hales backs for an unconverted try 16 - 35. Hales were not tackling their opposite man and were again under the cosh from a driving maul from another line out and another try 21 - 35. 
Hales needed to get back on track and again returned the pressure. Strong running by Carl Robinson fed Andy Holloway supporting on the wing who danced around his opposite man for a great try. Rayner unusually missed the  conversion to lead 21 - 40.
Hales again set off on the attack, the backs working well with the back row of Leach, Jay Martin and Jones. Hadkiss fed Rayner to Breese who looked outside at the 10 man overlap, stepped inside for a score 21 - 45.
The restart saw a bad foot injury to Andy Robinson who left the field Leach moved to cover the centre spot and Kieron Haines off the bench to back row. Sutton again would not give up, desperate for the bonus point try which came minutes from the end when they again drove a maul for a try on the final whistle 26 - 45.
After the game Coach Ben Hughes said, "We have positives to take out of that game, some great passages of play. However we should not be happy with the 26 points conceded today, we need to remember that as we move into our remaining important games"
This Saturday Hales play host to Birmingham Solihull. Kick off 2.15 pm


2nd Team

Old Halesonians 10 - 19  Broadstreet

Old Hales started the game positively and shortly after a good break down the right by Dave Wakefield Hales were awarded a penalty. Jake Shellis landed the penalty kick to lead 3-0 after only 6 minutes.

Too many errors by Old Hales allowed Broadstreet to get back into the game. Old Hales moved the ball from a scum five metres from their own line and the ball was spilled under the sticks; a Broadstreet player dived on the ball a metre out and slid over for a converted try to make the score 7-3.

Another handling error gave Broadstreet the opportunity to attack from their own half for what looked like a certain try. Fortunately Jamie Keen chased down the player and put enough pressure on him to force him to lose control of the ball has he crossed the line. Shortly after this Brodstreet were on the attack again and moved the ball quickly to the left to score an unconverted try for a score of 12-3.

Just before half time Old Hales lost two players, Matt Weaver and Dave Wakefield, with blood injuries to the head.

Old Hales started the second half with more grit and determination and following some sustained pressure from the forwards Jake Harley-Yeadon forced his way over for a try. Tom Harris landed the conversion to close the gap to 12-10.

With only a few minutes of the game to go Old Hales hopes of snatching victory were dashed when Boadstreet attacked down the right to score. A difficult conversion was landed for a final score of 19-10 to Broadstreet leaving Old Hales in third place in the Midlands Reserve League.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Jake Harley-Yeadon

Conversion: Tom Harris

Penalty:: Jake Shellis


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