Old Hales Triumph at Bromsgrove

Bromsgrove 15 - 35 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Mar 2, 2016 05:56pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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It was a tight schedule at Finstall Park given the Six Nations England game following this important National 3 Midlands fixture for Hales. 
The visitors went into this game having lost narrowly here on the last two occasions and similarly at home in the league fixture earlier in the season . The scene was set with a big crowd and from the kick off Bromsgrove took  the initiative.
After only 4 minutes of pressure the home side were rewarded with a try and conversion to lead 7 - 0. Hales needed to wake up as they failed to show their normal early dominance in games. Bromsgrove came back again with strong forward mauling and linking their backs for another unconverted try on 7 minutes, 12 - 0.
The visiting crowd were somewhat bemused at the lack lustre start by their team, seemingly in over complacent mood. Hales continued to repel Grove with stern tackling by Tom Jordan,  skipper Rich Taylor and Steve Leach. Jordan had to leave the field through injury and was replaced by Colt Kieron Haynes in the back row.
There were glimmers of the true Hales side as Loz Breese, Carl Robinson and Ben Barkley made ground. Wingers Luke Smith and Joe Oxford tried hard to run at the home defence. A penalty by full back Chris Hooper at the home 22, a catch and drive by second row Tom King led to a break by Leach from the back of the maul to cross the line for a try, converted by Oli Rayner to pull the score back to 12 - 7.
Hales were turning the corner coming close again to the try line but to be held up by the Grove defence, the half time score stood. There needed to be some serious discussions in the visitors changing room as Coach Ben Hughes got to work on his under performers.
The second half was a total contrast, Old Hales came out fighting but were penalised for offside and a penalty against was converted 15 - 7. Hales fought back for possession with some fine play between scrum half Dave Hadkiss and Rayner at 10 providing ample ball.
After 55 minutes Hales worked down the field with a string running phases by Breese, Jay Martin and Barkley. The pack supported and the backs spread the ball wide through Robinson to wing Joe Oxford who sprinted for a score in the corner, converted by Rayner 15 - 14.
From the kick off Hales again attacked  the home defence and after 3 minutes of pressure Hooper crossed the line to score, again converted by the trusty boot of Rayner to take the lead for the first time, 15 - 21. This was more like the team performance expected and the pressure continued.
Hales loose head prop Matt Young was replaced by Rob Butler and immediately the Hales side again went to work on the opposition. After 62 minutes pressure by the Hales pack produced ball for Hadkiss who slipped through the defence for a bonus point score, converted by Rayner to lead 15 - 28.
The home side could now not contain the rampant visitors and for the next 15 minutes the Halesowen side were in command. Set scrums were one sided as the Bromsgrove pack were in retreat as Butler, Sam Jones and Taylor dominated the front row.
Backs, Robinson and Barkley made serious ground supported by Andy Holloway (on for Hooper) and Smith. With minutes to go Hales were awarded a scrum on the Grove 10 metre line.  Hales forwards drove at the opposition who were forced to collapse the scrum. The referee awarded a penalty try which Rayner converted for a 15 - 35 convincing win.
Gary Cox, Director of Rugby, was pleased with the final outcome. "We were too complacent first half and allowed Bromsgrove to come at us. We showed our true form in the second half with some excellent passages of play. We need to maintain the second half performance next week in our crucial top of the table clash with leaders Hinckley"
Old Hales meet Hinckley at home this Saturday kick off 3pm not 2.15 from now on. The game will be preceded by the Annual Former Players Reunion Lunch in the club room under the control of MC and organiser Simon Hussey.


2nd Team

Old Halesonians 24 - 12  Bromsgrove

Old Hales started the game on the front foot and narrowly missed a scoring opportunity early on when Tom Harris cross kicked to left wing Jake Shellis in the open; an unlucky bounce of the ball allowed the Bromsgrove defence time to track across and prevent a try. For the next 20 minutes the game was evenly balanced.

After 26 minutes the deadlock was broken when Old Hales were awarded a penalty 20 metres out. Jake Shellis landed the penalty for a 3-0 lead.

Bromsgrove came back strongly and pressurised the Old Hales try line. Just before half time the Bromsgrove pressure paid off as they forced their way over from short range. The conversion was successful for Bromsgrove to lead 3-7 at half time.

After only four minutes of the second half a Bromsgrove kick failed to find touch and Old Hales moved the ball quickly to the left from deep in their own half. The Bromsgrove defence was slow to react and before they knew it Shellis was speeding down the left flank to score. Shellis added the conversion to regain the lead: 10-7.

On 22 minutes a free flowing move from the Old Hales backs was taken on by Alex Church who released centre Luke Fenton. With the Bromsgrove defence stretched, a quick dummy from Fenton allowed him to wrong foot the defender to score. Once again Shellis confidently landed the conversion for a 17-7 lead.

Bromsgrove came back strongly and after winning a scrum against the head inside the Old Hales 22 and  a few good phases of play, the Bromsgrove hooker burst through the Old Hales defence to score an unconverted try – score: 17-12.

With only two minutes of time remaining Old Hales were on the attack again; the ball was moved to the right and fullback Alex Herbert drew the Bromsgrove wing before passing to Jay Reid who comfortably outpaced the cover defence. Jake Shellis had the last word as he landed the conversion for a personal haul of 14 points..


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Jake Shellis, Luke Fenton, Jay Reid

Conversion: Jake Shellis (3)

Penalty: Jake Shellis


Worcester 3rds v Old Halesonians 3rds 

Old Hales 3rd team players were disappointed and frustrated when Worcester cried off less than 3 hours before the game was to be played.


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