Hughes Lead the Way in Hales Storm

Newport 13 - 22 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2016 07:45pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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Hales needed to find some character in this fixture following a disappointing couple of weeks. Widespread injuries continued as centre Ben Barkley and wing Joe Oxford were also out of this game. 

In what started as a fine sunny day, following early pressure by Hales, Newport responded in numbers with some of their injured players back in action. After 4 minutes Hales were penalised for offside. Liam Holder, the home winger kicked for a 3 - 0 lead. 

Hales tried to fight back but the young Newport side showed real character with forwards driving and feeding quick backs. After 8 minutes  the home side crossed for a try to lead 8 - 0. Hales needed to start getting a grip of this game and came back with driving forward play led by player coach Ben Hughes, [censored] Sawyer, skipper Rich Taylor, back row Max Macfarlane. Tom Jordan and Owen Jones.

On 11 minutes Hales were rewarded with a penalty which was missed but continued in control with a pushover try scored by Jones to pull the score back to 8 - 5. From the restart again Hughes led the charge with fellow lock Sawyer on his shoulder. Newport were forced to concede another penalty resulting in a yellow card for the home flanker. 

On 19 minutes, again more pressure by Hales with scrum half Jamie Keen keeping the momentum with quick ball. A line out close to the home 22, hooker Pete Fitzgerald was on point with his throw in. A driving maul resulted in Jordan crossing for a try to lead 8 - 10. 

The control alternated between the two sides with both defences holding strong. The sun had turned to rain and then driving hail for some time which forced supporters to the clubhouse and effected ball handling. 

 On 35mins Newport made good use of their forwards, catch and drive to cross the line for a 13 - 10 lead at half time. Hales had the benefit of a regrouping chat by Hughes with a message to keep it simple and continue as they had in the first 40 minutes.  

The second half saw a change in dominance with the visitors taking control. Hughes in particular led from the front with some quality line out ball from Fitzgerald's delivery and some immense drives and most carries for the team followed by Sawyer and Macfarlane.  

This lifted the Hales side and on 50mins  a passage of play involving forwards and backs ended with centre Steve Leach cruising for a well deserved try, converted by Oli Rayner to lead 13 - 17.  Hales again took the game to Newport who still looked like they could come back when Holder intercepted a Hales pass on the half way to  break free with no defence. 

He reached the Hales 22 with wing Luke Smith in pursuit, Smith caught his man short of the line for a try saving tackle. Hales again regrouped and took the game to the home side by strong running from Fitzgerald and wing Jay Reid with Chris Hooper kicking well for territory.  

Hales line out with Hughes in control was a deciding factor. Further pressure forced more penalties and two more yellow cards for Newport on 65 and 68 minutes. Replacements  then came on for Hales, Jay Martin for the injured Jones, Rob Butler for prop Matt Young and Andy Holloway for Rayner.  

Another line out won by Hughes, a continuing driving maul saw skipper Taylor cross for the bonus point try and a final score victory 13 - 22. After the game Hughes said "We have been through a difficult couple of weeks with injuries and trying to get back to the level we know we can play at. We got our mojo back today and it was a great team effort" 

Hales are at home to Nuneaton this week in the final league game, kick off 3 pm.

Hales will also meet Birmingham Solihull in the semi  final of the North Midlands Cup away on Friday night 22nd April, kick off 7.30pm.


2nd Team

Newport 2nds 21 - 34  Old Halesonians 2nds

This game was played in wintery weather with driving sleet and hail but both sides coped well with the adverse conditions.

Old Hales had the majority of possession in the early stages of the game; however, on 15 minutes the visitor’s lost possession and Newport’s fullback showed an impressive turn of speed has he broke through the Old Hales defensive line from his own half and raced to score under the posts. The try was converted for a lead of 7-0.

Old Hales continued to dominate possession and fly half Tom Harris conjured up two good opportunities for Hales to score with cross field kicks; unfortunately the chances couldn’t be finished off. Once again Newport made the most of their opportunities when their left wing found himself in the clear and outpaced the Hales defence to score another converted try for a 14-0 lead.

Old Hales fought their way up field against driving hail and after several attempts to score the ball was moved to the right and Andy Tromans came in from the wing to run a good line. Tromans was tackled just short of the try line but stretched out his long frame to score. Jake Shellis landed the conversion to make the score 14-7 at half time.

The half time talk seemed to do the trick and Old Hales made a flying start to the second half. Good clean possession was gained from a lineout inside Newport’s 22 and centre Jon Harris made one of his trade mark well timed runs, taking a flat pass from brother Tom Harris to split the defence to score and reduce the deficit to 14-12.

Old Hales were immediately back on the attack and from another lineout seven metres from the line the ball was secured at the back of a maul by replacement prop Tom Dempsey. The forwards forced the maul over the try line for Dempsey to make the score 14-17.

The visitor’s went further ahead when the backs contrived to release centre Jack Linehan who made a timely run to score close to the posts. Shellis added the conversion for a 14-24 lead.

Newport bounced back with yet another opportunist try; Hales spilled the ball and one of the Newport backs showed a clean pair of heels to score another converted try to trail 21-24.

Hales were on the attack again when backrow Luke Irwin made good ground deep into the Newport half. The ball was moved to the right and Tom Harris floated a miss pass out to Jack Linehan who was able to score uncontested. 

With the score at 21-29, Hales set up another lineout just short of the Newport try line. A clean take in the line was turned into a driving maul and Harry Higgs forced the ball to the ground to score Old Hales sixth and final try of the afternoon. Final score Newport 21, Old Hales 34.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Andy Tromans, Jon Harris, Tom Dempsey, Jack Linehan (2), Harry Higgs

Conversion: Jake Shellis (2)

3rd Team


No game for the 3rds


4th Team


The 4th team won away at Kidderminster


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