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North Midlands Semi Final

Birmingham Solihull 13 – 12 Old Hales

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016 08:33pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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A tight fought game and disappointment for Old Hales narrowly losing out after a definitive win in the league. Overall a disappointing end to the season. So we’ll regroup and come back fresh ready for next season.

 

Old Hales 2nds secure hard fought league double over Luctonians 2nds.

 

Old Halesonians 2nds 26 - 22  Luctonians 2nds

Old Hales 2nds welcomed back their influential captain Rob Butler to play their final game of the season against Luctonians 2nds. Hales once again started strongly and attacked Luctonians continuously for the first five minutes of the game. The ball was spilled forwards in one of the attacks and the Luctonians outside centre snapped up the ball and raced from his own half to score under the posts for a converted try and a 0-7 lead.

Luctonians attacked with renewed vigour and on 12 minutes their No.8 was tackled just short of the try line but managed to offload the ball for a supporting player to score close to the posts. Over confidence, resulted in a quickly taken conversion attempt rebounding off the upright to leave the score 0-12.

Old Hales had to reshuffle their backs after 18 minutes when Tom Harris had to leave the field with an injury; Jamie Keen moved to fly half and Tom Shakespeare came off the bench to take over at scrumhalf. Keen was quickly into the groove and made a perfectly weighted chip kick over Luctonians defensive line; he raced forward and collected the ball cleanly with outstretched arms before sprinting 20 metres to the try line to score a quality try. The conversion was unsuccessful for a 5-12 score.

Old Hales forwards were now making good ground and No.8 Alex Gordon was regularly carrying the ball forward from the base of the scrum. From a scrum in the centre of the field Hales moved the ball quickly to the left; Keen released fullback Dave Wakefield who provided a well timed pass to left wing Jake Shellis. Shellis took the ball 40 metres out and stepped in field to beat the Luctonians wing and then the fullback to score a well taken try. Shellis confidently converted his try to make the scores all level at 12-12 going into half time.

After only six minutes of the second half Old Hales were pressurising the Lucts line. Hales were awarded a penalty for an infringement and Alex Gordon took a quick tap penalty and forced his way forward before offloading to Kieran Haynes who managed to squeeze over the line to score. Shellis landed the conversion for Hales to take the lead 19-12.

Following a period of hard fought play the Old Hales defence was left wanting when the Luctonians hooker collected the ball 30 metres out; stepped his way with ease through the defence before sprinting to the try line to score under the posts. Luctonians missed the opportunity to draw level when an easy conversion attempt went wide of the posts.

Luctonians were quickly back on the attack and after a number of phases of play the ball was moved to the right. Good interplay resulted in a try scored from short range. Once again the conversion was missed for a score of 19-22.

Old Hales rallied and went on the attack with purpose. With 5 minutes of normal time remaining Old Hales were awarded a penalty; Alex Gordon tapped the ball and powered towards the line; Kieran Haynes picked up from the ruck and attempted to cross the try line. He was tackled short of the line; however, Sol Rogers was on hand to pick up and force his way over for a try. Shellis converted the try from out on the left for Hales to regain the lead at 26-22.

The referee played six minutes of injury time and Old Hales held out during this nervous period to secure a 26-22 win and the league double over Luctonians.

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