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Old Hales Feel the Force

Hinckley 51 - 6 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2014 09:43pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By John Clark
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This Hinckley side is getting better week by week. Saturday 13thDecember they were completely dominant and overwhelmed an Old Hales side that would have moved into second place in the league had it won.

The collective group skills of the Hinckley front five, the back row, the half backs and the vastly improved back line were on display throughout the game. With only the ever- aggressive Tom Jordan, Jay Martin, Nigel Burrows and Matt Williams prepared to stand toe to toe with  abrasive opponents. Burrows received a yellow card along with the Hinckley Hooker; Coltman mid-way through the second half.

Hinckley have now gone four games without conceding a try which is always a sound basis for confidence. To Hales credit, up till today, they have only conceded 2 in the last 4 games. To add to the pain is injury, skipper Rich Taylor suffered a suspected cheekbone fracture just 10 minutes in with rookie Harry Higgs deputising. Add this to the hamstring tear of Loose head Louis Padian at training on Thursday evening, with Guy Field also aggravating a knee injury and coming off half time. Jay Martin, also carrying another knee injury but playing stoically on, the Hales team backs were against the wall.

A half time score of 25-6 in Hinckley’s favour with three tries in the bag confirmed Hinckley’s dominance with 3 tries, 2 of which were catch and drives in the line from their towering 2nd rows.Hinckley’s 4th and bonus point try by their hooker, again a rolling maul. The pressure continued, with ex-Tigers Full back; Mitch Culpinscoring home try number five, probably the best of the game, with great hands, but fall-off tackling from Old Hales evident. A sixth was added as the Hales pack disintegrated, a continuing theme. Finally the game was completed as the Hinckley pack rumbled Old Hales back over our own line again for another try. A finalconversion completed the scoring for a very comprehensive Hinckley victory by 51 points to 6. 

Following a convincing win last week against weaker opposition in Dudley Kingswinford, Old Hales need to regroup and set about preparing for some difficult physical teams to play in the new year. This Saturday they meet Longton at home before the festive break, kick off2.15 pm

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Old Halesonians 2nds  33pts  Stoke on Trent 2nds  33pts
Report By Dan Hunt 
Following the midweek cry off from Silhillians, Old Hales were pleased to accept the offer of a game against Stoke. Unfortunately the Stoke side was depleted at the last minute and they arrived at Wassell Grove without a full front row and with only 12 players. The captains agreed a 12-a-side format with uncontested scrums and what followed was a fast and furious game.
Both sides fielded mobile sets of forwards and backs with pace. Stoke dominated possession in the early stages of the game and capitalised on this by scoring a well worked try. From the restart Hales hit back and after several attacking moves Alex Church received the ball a few metres from the line and forced his way over the try line to make the score level at 5-5.
With only 12 players per side both teams exploited the gaps in each other’s defence and Stoke were next to strike with a converted try from long range. Hales hit back and pressurised the visitor’s try line. After several attempts by the forwards to cross the line, Hooker Bobby Moxon made it over for a try that Andy Tromans converted.
Shortly after the restart Hales were awarded a penalty on their own 10 metre line; wing, James Mitchell, was quick to react, he took a quick tap and off he sped through a maze of defenders. He evaded three attempted tackles from Stoke’s cover defence before scoring close to the posts. Tromans added the conversion. Score 19-12.
From a point deep in their own 22, the Stoke backs opened up and put their left wing in the clear. He made 50 metres before passing inside to his centre who motored to the line for a try that was duly converted to bring the scores level. Stoke were in the ascendancy now and from deep in his own half their flyhalf set off on a run through what can only be described as a ragged Hales defence, When he reached the home sides 22 he chipped over the top of the defence, the ball was collected on the bounce by a supporting team mate to score a converted try.
Hales rallied and after some good interplay between forwards and backs, ‘H’ - Jake Harley-Yeadon, burst onto the ball to score close to the posts; Tromans added the extras. Stoke were still keen and from what appeared to be certain Hales ball from a ruck, the Stoke prop picked up and scampered towards the try line. A neat pass to a supporting player and Stoke were over the home side’s line once again. With the two points added, the score stood at 26-33 to Stoke.
With only a couple of minutes remaining, Old Hales secured the ball and from a driving maul pushed their way deep into the Stoke half. The referee called last play at a lineout that Hales took cleanly. What followed was great ball retention by Hales and stubborn defence by Stoke. After numerous phases of play, two penalties for Stoke infringements and several near misses, the ball popped out of a ruck and Andy Tromans collected and dived over for a try that he also converted. The game was over and all in all a 33-33 drawn game was probably the correct result.
Old Hales scorers:
Tries: Alex Church, Bobby Moxon, James Mitchell, Jake Harley-Yeadon, Andy Tromans;
Conversions: Andy Tromans (4)
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3rds 
no game
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4ths 
Pershore 2nds 17pts   Old Halesonians 4ths  14pts.
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