Old Hales Back on Form

Old Halesonians 30 - 20 Old Towcestrians

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2016 09:46pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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Following a disappointing loss against Nuneaton last week, this week’s match was always seen as a much needed boost for the home side. The Hales side had licked their wounds during the week and worked hard in training to ensure they bounced back.


Towcestrians came to Wassell Grove for the first time having been promoted from the lower leagues last season. They are a young fit side with a couple of experienced heads who held Nuneaton to a 3 - 3 draw two weeks ago, so this would be no easy game. Hales saw two new players join the squad, Hooker Jordan Page, former Worcester and Stourbridge player and Prop forward Mike Hill, previously with Stourbridge and Newport Salop.


As the expectant home crowd gathered the early exchanges saw both sides fighting for possession, Hales putting their game plan in place using a forward based driving game providing platform for the backs. Player coach Ben Hughes led from the front with strong driving runs supported by back row Steve Leach, Adam Clayton and Max Macfarlane.


The front row of Matt Young, Page and Rich Taylor dominated early. Scrum half Chris Danks and fly half Ian Briggs kept hales on the front foot with lively backs led by centres Ben Barkley and Carl Robinson.


The visitors tackled well and showed lots of spirit giving indication that this would not be a one sided game. Hales applied the pressure at scrum time and continued to press through driving mauls. 


On 18 minutes a line out in the visitors 22 saw Hughes take a clean ball from Page, a rolling maul ensued with the Hales pack in control. This continued to within metres of the try line, prop Young picked up and dived for the first score, converted by full back Chris Hooper to lead 7 - 0


Hughes took the ball from the kick off and the driving mauls continued, the Hales backs took possession, Hooper in the line with wing Andy Robinson in support. Brother Carl beat his man and kicked ahead for winger Jay Reid to beat the opposition to the line for the second try of the game 12 - 0.


From the restart, 3 minutes later, Towcestrians fought back with constant pressure from driving mauls and although the Hales defence worked hard to keep them out. They secured the ball for a pushover try wide out which they were unable to convert making the score 12 - 5.


Hales regrouped and responded with some constant pressure in the middle of the field. Play was stopped for an injury to Clayton who had dislocated his shoulder, he was replaced by Loz Breese. Both forwards and backs made ground and forced the visitors to be penalised and one player leaving the field with a yellow card. Hooper stepped up to convert the penalty. 


During this time Clayton, who was waiting for transport to hospital, moved his arm to a position of support and the shoulder popped back in to place. He therefore made the decision to returned to the field. Only 6 minutes later Hales took advantage of the 14 man opposition to force another penalty in the Hales half.


Hooper elected to go for 55 metre goal attempt and dissected the posts for an excellent penalty to lead 18 - 5. Again the home side received the ball from the restart, spreading the ball wide through Hughes, Briggs, Barkley to Andy Robinson on the wing. He took on his opposite man inside and fed to the returning Clayton for a well worked try, 23 - 5 at half time.


The second half needed to continue as the first for Hales with replacement prop Hill taking the place of Young. The visitors were straight back into the game with pressure on the defence. A line out close to the Hales line saw Hughes penalised and leaving the field with a yellow card for a high tackle.


The visitors converted the penalty for a 23 - 8 score and looked to be regrouping well. After 55 minutes Hales again worked hard, forwards driving into the opposition, the ball was spread wide for winger Reid sprinting for his second try, converted by Hooper 30 - 8.


From the restart Briggs received a yellow and left the field, the visitors came straight back with pressure and a try to make the score 30 - 13. They continued with excellent open play and made ground into the Hales half, the home side had to fight hard to keep them out. 


Hughes returned to the fray but Briggs having returned, dislocated 2 fingers and took no further part. Martin Hooker replaced Danks who was also injured and Young came back on to make the numbers up.


The changes seemed to disrupt the home side allowing the visitors to fight their way over for a converted try on 80 minutes. Hales celebrated a 30 - 20 victory which keeps them in the top 3 league positions and hopefully back on track.


This Saturday the first team travel to Peterborough Lions kick off 3 pm


Second team - Old Halesonians 2nds 15 - 62  Towcestrians 2nds


Old Hales had a tough afternoon against the strong running Towcestrians. The visitors dominated the first quarter of the game scoring two tries in quick succession on 12 and 18 minutes to lead 0-12.


Old Hales stemmed the tide and fought back. Andy Holloway made a good break down the right that was continued on by wing James Worton. Following the tackle the ball was recycled and fly half Dave Wakefield kicked across field. A fortunate bounce of the ball was collected by left wing Laured Kalari and he forced his way over for a try.


From the kick off Old Hales were back on the attack. Good play from Ollie Kealey, Laured Kalari, Jon Harris and Jake Shellis took the ball deep into the Towcester half. The ever present fullback Andy Holloway was in support to carry the ball over the line to score to make the score 10-12 after 23 minutes.


Two well taken tries from Towcester followed; one from their No.10, the second out wide on the left for a 10-24 lead at half time.


Towcestrians continued the second half as they finished the first and scored a try early on to make the score 10-31. After 20 minutes of the half, more pressure from Towcestrians opened up the Old Hales defence and their hooker sailed through to score under the posts. Score 10-38.


Old Hales rallied and they attacked down the middle. Sam Jones made a good drive forward that was continued by Scott Rudge. From the ensuing ruck the ball was moved swiftly to the left and wing James Worton was on hand to score  in the corner to make the score 15-38.


The last 15 minutes of the game was pretty much one way traffic as Towcestrians crossed the Old Hales line for a further four tries to make the final score 15-62.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Laured Kalari, Andy Holloway, James Worton


Third team – No game as Old Salts 2nds cried off the friendly game.


Fourth team - Old Halesonians 4ths 52 – 12 Evesham 3rds


Old Hales 4ths won their first league game of the season


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Dan Smith (2), Steve Deakin (2), Adam O’Brien (2), Dave Glover and Gavin Evans

Conversions: Steve Deakin (3), Others (3)


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