Old Hales Rise to the Challenge

Peterborough Lions 22 - 25 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2015 09:54am
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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First team - Peterborough Lions 22 – 25 Old Halesonians


This was to be one of the most difficult challenges so far for the Hales first team against a very big physical Peterborough team.  Perfect pitch and weather conditions made for an open running game.


The early exchanges were physical, Peterborough showing why they are so difficult to beat at home. They ran strong phases using backs and forwards to severely test the Hales defence. 


After 4 minutes Hales were penalised and were 3 points down early on. Hales fought back with driving runs and deft play by fly half Oli Rayner who coordinated well. Lions were penalised after 6 minutes, Full Back Chris Hooper converted to tie the scores 3 - 3.


The home side again came back with constant attack, Hales under pressure but defence holding out with Tom Jordan, Pete Fitzgerald, Tom King and Max Mcfarlane putting in telling tackles.  

On 10 minutes another attacking move by Lions stretched the defence again outside.


The ball was fed across the backs, a lofted pass towards the outside centre looked likely to provide a score but for the outstretched hand and interception by the indomitable Hooper. 


In his own 22 he set off with the opposition in pursuit, he was supported by Wing Joe Oxford but managed to keep his pace to score under the posts and converted for a lead 3 - 10. This came as a shock to the home side given their territorial dominance early on.


The game stayed the same with both teams giving little away but Hales were unable to find their usual fluid form. The set scrum was secure for Hales against a much bigger pack. Front row with loose head Matt Young, Hooker Pete Fitzgerald and tight head skipper Rich Taylor dominated and disrupted the Lions set piece.


Unfortunately the ball did not find the talented Hales backs often enough which allowed the home pack to keep it tight with telling rolling maul phases. Their continued pressure resulted in forward and back combinations that split the Hales defence. 


On 22 minutes Lions scored a try in the corner, conversion missed 8 - 10. Hales again tried to come back but inconsistent passing and decision making disrupted their play. Peterborough used the slight slope well and maintained the pressure. 


Despite valiant tackling as usual by flanker Tom Jordan, Owen Jones, Rayner and Taylor the home side were dictating the game. On 39 minutes and more pressure the Lions broke the Hales defence for a converted try to lead 15 - 10 at half time,


If the visitors were to make anything of this game they needed to take control and not allow the opposition to dictate the style and tempo of the game. 


For the next 25 minutes both sides fought it out with pressure in each other's halves of the field. Hales made a change of Jay Martin off the bench to replace Guy Field in the second row and loose head Louis Padian on for the very capable Matt Young. 


Hales continued to dominate in the set scrum but Lions made more of their forward rolling maul power. On 65 minutes one such move by their forwards towards the Hales line resulted in a penalty try awarded to Lions by the referee for a collapsed maul. The home side converted to lead 22 - 10 with 15 minutes to go. 


If there was a time for the visitors to get themselves back on track this was it. DOR Gary Cox introduced winger replacement Jay Reid to the game in place of Joe Oxford, this was Reids' debut for the first team. The visitors came back into the game.


On 73 minutes, Hales forwards secured set ball, scrum half Sam Vaughan to Rayner at 10 to Ben Barkley at inside centre. He passed to Andy Robinson outside who on one of his first touches of the ball took on the opposition backs. He glided through untouched for a classic try, converted by Hooper 22 - 17.


On 75 minutes Hales had their heads up, more ball to the backs saw wing Luke Smith join the line to break the defence, he fed wing Reid who sprinted for his debut try, conversion missed to tie the scores 22 - 22.


Peterborough were not to be outdone and worked their way back into the Hales half. More pressure and Hales were penalised for a high tackle, penalty for the visitors which could win the game. The usually consistent Lions kicker missed leaving the scores level

With a minute to go.


From the restart, Lions were penalised, Hooper kicked for ground for a line out in the visitors 22. Won ball by Jones fed to the backs ran wide to the wing, Lions defended well but were penalised out wide in the dying minutes.


Hooper stepped up to take the last kick of the game from wide out. He struck the ball well, it split the uprights to win the game on the referees final whistle 22 - 25.


Coach Ben Hughes and DOR were unhappy with the Hales performance and made that clear in the post-match discussion. Cox said "we did not deserve to win this game. Sometimes you have to win dirty, not many teams will travel here and gets result this season, we will take that but need to get back training on Tuesday and Thursday to put some things right"


Old Hales play host to Sandbach this Saturday kick off to be agreed but likely to be 2pm, please keep an eye on our website to confirm


Second team - Old Halesonians 2nds 73 - 0 Worcester Wanderers 2nds


Old Hales 2nds were on fire as they ran in 12 tries against Worcester 2nds in this friendly fixture.


The first try was scored after only 5 minutes when hooker David Watson finished off a good attacking move to score under the posts. Jake Shellis added the conversion.


On 11 minutes Mike Topping barged his way towards the Worcester line and from the ensuing ruck, the ball was moved to the left and a Matt Williams pass found Shellis on the wing to score in the corner.


Continued pressure from Old Hales forced Worcester to give away a penalty inside their own 22. Jake Shellis stepped up to knock over the penalty to make the score 15-0 to Old Hales.

Once again Old Hales showed good hands in attack and when the ball reached Dave Wakefield he made some ground before passing to wing Nathan Newman who raced 30 metres to score close to the posts. Shellis converted the try for a 22-0 lead.


With 25 minutes gone Old Hales won a scrum 15 metres from their own line; fly-half Matt Williams made a 30 metre break before kicking deep into the Worcester half. Jake Shellis gave chase and put pressure on the Worcester defender; the ball popped up to Matt Williams in support to score.


From the kick-off the home side were back on attack and set up a lineout in close range of the Worcester try line. Following a good catch and drive the ball was moved to the left and David Watson was in support to collect the ball to score his second try.


Shortly after the restart, Nathan Newman took the ball, jinked past three Worcester players before outstripping the cover defence to score a wonderful 70 metre try. Shellis added the extras to make it 37-0.


Old Hales continued their assault on the Worcester line when scrumhalf Ollie Burt took the ball from the base of the scrum and showed a clean pair of heels as he dashed down the blind side. A well timed pass to Newman saw the wing outpace the defence for his third try. Half time score 42-0.


Worcester started the second half positively but before long the Old Hales forwards took control. From a Worcester scrum in their own 22, Hales forced a turnover and the ball squirted out of the scrum.  Backrow Kieran Haynes reacted quickly, picked up the ball and made his way to the try line to score.


Strong running back row Sol Rogers powered up field before offloading to the backs in support. Slick passing allowed Dave Wakefield time to draw the Worcester fullback before releasing Nathan Newman, who scorched to the line to score his fourth try.


The three Colts players representing Old Hales 2nds, Kieran Haynes, Luke Fenton and Jamie Keen featured heavily in the last quarter of the game. First Kieran Haynes made a good break deep into the Worcester 22 before offloading to debutant centre Luke Fenton who scored under the posts. Dave Wakefield converted the try.


Following a Worcester infringement, Jamie Keen took a quick tap penalty 30 metres out and darted towards the line before passing to David Watson to score his third try of the game.


Towards the end of the game Jamie Keen collected the ball in his own half, side stepped three Worcester players and then dashed down the centre of the pitch to score a fine individual try. Dave Wakefield converted the try for a full time score of 73-0 to Old Halesonians.



Old Hales scorers:

Tries: David Watson (3), Jake Shellis, Nathan Newman (4), Matt Williams, Kieran Haynes, Luke Fenton, Jamie Keen

Conversions: Jake Shellis (3), Dave Wakefield (2)

Penalty: Jake Shellis



Third team - Old Halesonians 3rds 86 - 14 Droitwich 2nds


Old Hales 3rds run in 14 tries in their first league game of the new season.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Matt Weaver, Steve Deakin (2), Tom Warrington (4), Alex Herbert, Phil Jukes (3), James Worton (3)

Conversions:  Fly-half - Sam (8)


Under 17’s – Worcester Wonderers 17 – 19 Old Halesonians


Old hales played a hard fought game away at Worcester to win their first league game.


Tries – Adam O’brien, Joe Yarnall, Jack Manison

Conversions – San Corcoran.

Photo: File pic


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