Nuneaton hold on to take the spoils

Old Halesonians 0 Nuneaton 10

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2014 08:07pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Simon Hussey
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This was likely to be a defining fixture at home against the league leaders, Nuneaton held on to a narrow lead to win the spoils,

Hales looked dominant for many periods of the game but too many dropped passes and errors prevented the home team from finishing off.

Early exchanges saw Hales pressing the Nuneaton defence on many occasions but could not cross the try line. The lineout was inconsistent for Hales allowing Nuns to spoil good possession.

The visitors managed to fight back forcing a Hales infringement which they converted for a 0 - 3 lead. At this point there was no difference between the sides, Hales gaining more territory.

Hales came back with strong running by backs Andy Robinson, Luke Smith and wing Joe Oxford. This forced an infringement giving a penalty chance to draw level, Steve Powell missed the kick. 

At half time Hales were in confident mood and the first half performance gave indication that the game was there for the taking if they did the basics right.

The second half again showed Hales could win this with driving runs from Pete Fitzgerald, Tom Jordan and Tom Dempsey.

The home side continued to camp in the Nuns half but with no reward. 

Sloppy passing, dropped ball and unnecessary offloads gave the visitors easy possession. Nuneaton did the basics right from here which was the difference between the sides. 

Hales were awarded a penalty left field in the the visitors 22, an ideal opportunity for a lineout and driving maul. Steve Powell miss kicked the ball dead in goal gifting possession again to the visitors.

New recruit prop Cliff Tomkinson came on from the bench to help stabilise the scrum and showed his experience in the pack. 

Nuneaton took their opportunities well, worked their way down the field and dominated a maul to drive over for a converted try 0 - 10. 

Injury to centre Carl Robinson disrupted the team as he left the field with an ankle injury. Simon Sabel came off the bench as replacement.

Hales needed to build and work the phases again but the basics of ball retention were not there. Valiant effort by forwards Jordan, Evans Breese and Fitzgerald could not breach the nuns line. 

At the final whistle Nuneaton were rightly ecstatic with the away win, Old Hales were left deflated in a game that they could and should have won. 

They remain in 4th position in the league but the gap is increasing between the top 4 sides. Hales need to put this right when they meet Syston at home next Saturday kick off 2.15 pm


Bromsgrove 2nds  10pts   Old Halesonians 2nds  18pts

2nds Report By Dan Hunt 

Old Halesonians 2nds started 2014 with a hard fought win over local rivals Bromsgrove 2nds.

Bromsgrove were fired up for this encounter and dominated possession for much of the first half. Old Hales defended manfully to keep the home side from crossing their try line, but finally the referee adjudged that an Old Hales infringement at a Bromsgrove attacking scrum prevented a certain try and awarded Bromsgrove a penalty try. The straight forward conversion gave the home side a 7-0 lead.

Bromsgrove continued to attack in the Old Hales half and following the award of a penalty, the home side took the opportunity to add another 3 points to take a 10-0 lead into half time.

The Old Hales half time team-talk seemed to do the trick and they started the second half with more purpose and direction. The visitors gained a greater amount of possession and regularly attacked the Bromsgrove defence. From one such attack, the ball was moved quickly to the right and speedster Jack Manners showed a clean pair of heels as he outpaced the Bromsgrove defence to score.

The visitors could now smell the scent of victory and continued to attack. From a Bromsgrove lineout close to their own line, Old Hales pressure paid off as the ball fell loose over the line and second row Tom Lewis reacted quickly and pounced on the ball for a try. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score all level at 10-10.

The Old Hales pressure took its toll on the Bromsgrove No.10 who was shown a yellow card following an infringement and back chat to the referee. The referee marched the Bromsgrove defence back 20 metres and Sam Vaughan slotted the penalty over for a 13-10 lead.

With less than 10 minutes to go to full time Old Hales put together a superb passage of play from a scrum. Great interplay by several players ended with Alex Church going over for the final try of the game.

Old Hales dogged determination contributed to this deserved victory over a strong Bromsgrove side.

Photo: File pic




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