Hales Leave Local Rivals Reeling

Old Halesonians 39 - 10 Bournville

Last Updated: Mar 2, 2015 08:36pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Simon Hussey
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Old Halesonians First Team travelled to local rivals Bournville for the second league meeting of the two teams, the home side seeking revenge for the heavy defeat at Wassell Grove.

There was no doubt this would be a tough game against a Bournville side desperate for points. And so from the first whistle Hales pushed forward, both forwards and backs dominating in all phases. There was complete control by the visitors and most of the play within the visitors 22 but with no points to show. A mixture of rushed moves, bad decision making saw nothing to show for 20 minutes pressure. 
The home side were ecstatic with their defensive effort, but it was more lack of finishing that was hindering Hales. On the 21st minute after numerous phases by the pack, the ball was finally sent through the hands to winger Patrick Luftkin, who raced over in the corner for an unconverted try to lead 0 - 5. The second period of the first half continued with Hales pressure but with no score, Bournville were lifted by this. Hales suffered the loss of Player/Coach Mark Evans with a rib injury, he was admirably replaced by the consistent James Sadler on the back row. The home side took advantage close to half time and from a lineout scored a well worked converted try as the ref blew for half time with the score 7 - 5 to Bournville. The half time chat by Coach Mark Evans left the players in no doubt as to what was required in the second half to keep face. 
The players responded, Hales set off at a rate of knots and immediately got their game together. After 1 minute the backs produced the first of their scores, Carl Robinson gathering the ball on the right wing to sprint from 40 meters for an immediate unconverted try to lead 7 - 10. Hales Prop, Louis Padian, was forced to  leave the field with a knee injury, replaced by Tom Dempsey. Not long after that Dempsey was given a yellow card for a suspect high tackle. Then came another blow for the visitors when skipper, and the other Prop, Rich Taylor appeared to fracture his jaw and left the field. The visitors were forced to introduce uncontested scrums due to insufficient front row players and as the laws dictate, they had to continue with a player short.
On 47 minutes, and with the Hales backs firing on all cylinders, Scrum Half Nathan Jones and Fly Half Gareth Bown totally ran the show finding Chris Hooper in form to take the ball through a collection of defenders for a try which Hooper converted for a lead of 7 - 17. Bournville found themselves in the Hales half on 52 minutes, and were awarded a penalty which took the score to 10 - 17. Just 4 minutes later Hales again worked the flanks and the 7 forwards continued to provide a platform for the backs to use the ball. Wing Warren Oliver received the ball wide out after 12 phases to score in the corner, 7 - 22. Not to be outdone, and already with one try, the other Wing Pat Luftkin found himself in space enough to score which Hooper converted for a 10 - 29 lead.
The visitors had definitely got their act together and on 75 minutes the possession again went their way, the ball moved out wide to Hooker Pete Fitzgerald. From 40 metres out he ran at the opposition backs,  sold 2 dummies, spun 360 degrees and sprinted for a great try, Hooper converted to take the lead to 10 - 36. Continued pressure saw total domination by Hales and with only extra time to play the ball found itself in the hands of Full back Chris Hooper a yard inside his own half. With the crowd expecting the final whistle, Hooper struck  what must be one of the finest drop goals seen for many years to complete the victory 10 - 39. The Hales team have suffered telling injuries in this game and will need to regroup ready for another defining game away against Bromsgrove on Saturday, kick off 3 pm.

Old Hales 2nds did not play – Newport withdrew from the friendly game to play a catch up league game.


Old Halesonians 3rds  34pts   Kidderminster 2nds  19pts

Match Report By Dan Hunt

Old Hales 3rds faced a youthful Kidderminster 2nd team on a dry but blustery day at Wassell Grove.

Old Hales started the game firing on all cylinders and after several powerful runs by hooker Sam Jones, Hales were awarded an attacking scrum on the Kidderminster 5 metre line. A controlled drive in the scrum by the home side allowed No.8 Steve Deakin to score after only 5 minutes of play. Gaz Price converted from a difficult angle to make the score 7-0.

From the kick off Old Hales were back on the attack and after a few attempts to cross  the visitor’s line, Liam Kendrick collected the ball and powered over for a try from short range for a 12-0 lead.

The Old Hales scrum was causing Kidderminster all sorts of problems and from a scum close to their line, Lee Davis pressurised the Kidderminster scrum half and stole the ball to score from 5 metres out. Gaz Price added the conversion.

On 23 minutes Old Hales scored their fourth try when the ball was moved quickly to the left and Deakin scored in the corner to make the score 24-0. All the signs were that Hales were going to rack up a big score; however, Kidderminster had other ideas. After a number of strong runs Kidderminster’s confidence grew and they had the better of the final 10 minutes of the first half, scoring two good tries to make the half time score 24-12.

With high hopes of a comeback, Kidderminster started the second half strongly and regularly exposed Old Hales suspect defence. Hales weathered the storm and gradually made their way downfield. A Kidderminster infringement allowed Hales to set up an attacking lineout and from a clean catch and drive, backrow Gary Jones secured the ball and scored as the maul crossed the line.

Kidderminster hit back when they were awarded a penalty 20 metres out. They took a quick tap penalty and moved the ball to the left to score a converted try for a score of 29-19.

Kidderminster continued to attack the Old Hales defence but time was running out, Once again a series Kidderminster infringements allowed Hales to set up a lineout close to the oppositions try line. A well worked catch and drive gave Gary Jones the opportunity to score his second try. With the score at 34-19 to Old Hales the referee blew the final whistle.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Steve Deakin (2), Liam Kendrick, Lee Davis, Gary Jones (2);

Conversions: Gaz Price (2)



Evesham 3rds 29pts  Old Halesonians 4ths  27pts

Old Hales 4ths narrowly lost this close encounter at Evesham.


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