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Old Hales Miss Out to Lively Lichfield

Lichfield 27 - 24 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2016 07:16pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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Old Hales first team travelled to Lichfield in an effort to grasp at a playoff position which looked doubtful given the points difference with Scunthorpe in second and Hinckley in first. 

The game started as it was to continue with both sides battling hard for ascendancy. After 10 minutes Lichfield broke free with their quick backs for an early try 5 - 0. The visitors fought back took control for the next 10 minutes. 

Forward pressure saw Hales skipper Rich Taylor drive over for an unconverted try to draw level, 5 - 5. From the kick off Lichfield immediately came back for a try to regain the lead 10 - 5. 

Although the visitors were stronger in the set scrum and forward play, the home side came back with the backs combining with forwards to score on 30 minutes to lead 15 - 5. The game swung in favour of both sides with strong defence by Hales players Tom Jordan, Max Macfarlane, Steve Leach and Owen Jones who had replaced injured Tom King early on with a broken hand. 

Hales did their best to make ground with the hard yards by Ben Hughes, Ben Barkley and Macfarlane. On 35 minutes Leach got over the line following forward pressure to pull the score back to 15 - 10 at half time. 

The restart again saw both sides trading scores with Hales young scrum half Jamie Keen and Dave Hadkiss at 10 producing plenty of ball. Handling was not precise enough and in a game of small margins, errors were to be the difference. 

On 50 minutes Lichfield again attacked and breached the normally staunch Hales defence to increase their lead to  20 - 10. Hales responded and built their game toward the home line with Jones diving over for a try, converted by Hadkiss 20 - 17.  

Again the home side came back, the strength was in their backs whilst Hales were dominant in the pack. Lichfield were jubilant as they again crossed the line with a converted try to lead 27 - 17 with 15 minutes to go.

Hales were not out of it and started to take the game to Lichfield. On 77 minutes hooker Sam Jones drove over for a try converted by Hadkiss to pull back to 27 - 24 with 3 minutes to go, 

Last efforts by Hales, particularly Jones, Barkley and Macfarlane made ground but time had run out, the whistle went seeing the home side victorious with Hales consolation of 2 bonus points for 4 tries and a losing bonus. 

Hales will have a break this Saturday and will meet Longton at home on Saturday 2 April, kick off 3 pm

 

Old Hales 2nds

Bridgnorth 2nds 5 - 12   Old Halesonians 2nds

Old Hales 2nds should have played Old Patesians 2nds at home in the league; however, Old Pats cried off late on Thursday and fortunately a friendly fixture was quickly arranged away against Bridgnorth 2nds.

Old Hales started well and dominated the scrum set piece from the off. The visitor’s attacked the Bridgnorth line and left wing Alex Church made several strong runs down the left flank.

On 22 minutes Old Hales were awarded a penalty 15 metres from the Bridnorth line; Alex Gordon retrieved the ball quickly, took a tap penalty and forced his way to the try line to score. Luke Fenton landed the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Within 3 minutes Old Hales were on the attack again with hooker Pete Fitzgerald making a forceful drive towards the line. From the ensuing ruck the ball was moved quickly to the left for Alex Church to score in the corner from short range to make the score 12-0.

Just before half time Bridgnorth fought back and after several attempts to cross the line scored wide out on the left. The conversion was missed for an Old Hales 12-5 lead at half time.

The second half was a well matched game and both sides had opportunities. The best opportunity for Bridgnorth came with only seven minutes of the game remaining; the left wing broke away and only had Old Hales fullback Joel to beat. Joel stood his ground and made an excellent tackle. This was the last threat from Bridgnorth and Old Hales held out to secure a close 12-5 victory.

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