Old Hales Play With Passion

Old Halesonians 5 – 8 Birmingham Solihull

Last Updated: Nov 21, 2016 07:09pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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This was the 10th league game of a 26 game season and Hales were desperate to get back to early season form. Having suffered 3 league losses the players and management have worked hard to solve the loss of form. 

Both sides took the field in front of two partisan groups of supporters and the game did not disappoint. Early exchanges saw the home side in control and in fact Bees spent little time in the Hales half for 40 minutes. 

Strong driving runs by the Hales team led by Ben Barkley, Adam Clayton, Neil Mason and Loz Breese saw Bees defending well against constant pressure. Hales couldn't breach the visitors defence despite controlling most areas of the game. 

The half time whistle saw no points for either side, Hales feeling they deserved more. The second half saw Bees come back into the fight with an early penalty to lead 0 - 3. From the restart the visitors again attacked through the backs and cut through the Hales defence for an unconverted try to lead 0 - 8. 

Hales regrouped and tried everything to pull back with fly half Ian Briggs, skipper Steve Leach and Hooker Sam Jones making good ground. Full back Chris Hooper was instrumental in many moves as Hales worked their way up the field. 

Hales made changes with new second row Jamie Powell replacing Max Macfarlane, Jamie Keen replacing Chris Danks and Rob Butler on at prop for Matt Young. Both sides put together some nail biting exchanges.  

Strong rucking by Hales resulted in Sam Jones driving over the line for a try to lead 5 - 8, ten minutes from full time. The home side maintained pressure and were in the ascendancy with Clayton, Mason and Briggs again making ground. 

Keen did well to keep Hales moving forward but attacks were again thwarted by Bees who defended well. The ball was looped across the Hales backs in the last play of the game dying for wing Luke Smith to sprint for the line, with two defenders tackling him,  for a try in the corner. 

However, the referee judged the player to be out of play and having disallowed what would have been a winning score, the final whistle blew for a Bees victory.  

Hales Coach Ben Hughes said after the game, "In terms of where we had been in the last couple of weeks we should be really happy with our commitment and passion today. We have turned the corner with this performance and although not the result we wanted, we will build on this" 

Hales meet Bridgnorth away on Saturday, kick off 2.15


Second team - Birmingham Solihull 2nds 52 – 12 Old Halesonians 2nds


Old Hales lost this league game against a very average Birmingham Solihull 2nds team that they normally would have expected to beat. 

The first quarter was evenly balanced with neither team taking control of the game. After 18 minutes Old Hales lost possession on their right; Bees left wing made a cross field run and as he was tackled just short of the line he passed to the right wing to score for a 5-0 lead. 

Old Hales fought back and after moving the ball to the right and pressurising the Bees defence, the ball was moved quickly to the left and Matt Wagstaff put fullback James Worton in for a try to draw level at 5-5. 

The floodgates then opened and Bees scored a further four tries before half time to lead 33-5. 

No tries were scored during the first 20 minutes of the second half but then the visitors lost possession and the Bees left wing capitalised yet again by cutting across the field to score under the posts. Poor tackling by Old Hales allowed Bees to score again for a commanding 45-5 lead. 

Old Hales rallied and following a few good drives by the forwards, Sol Rogers was able to force his way over for a try; Matt Wagstaff landed the conversion for a score of 45-12. 

A final flourish from Birmingham Solihull saw a well weighted grubber kick split the Old Hales defence and the Bees fullback swooped in for a converted try to make the final score 52-12.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: James Worton, Sol Rogers

Conversion:  Matt Wagstaff


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