Old Halesonians 25 - 16 Sandbach

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2016 08:30pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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This was to be a challenge for Hales against a Sandbach side who gained a losing bonus point against Nuneaton last week and also sat just below Hales in the league. The visitors are a young fit side and their pack started to dominate early against a shaky start in the tight scrum for Hales. Early pressure resulted in a penalty for Sandbach and 7 minutes later Hales forced an infringement, converted by Chris Hooper 3 - 3. 

Hales tried to take control but could not get going, unforced errors being the main issue. Coach Ben Hughes led the home pack and Ben Barkley in the centres looked his usual force. The visitors took the initiative on 30 minutes with a well worked try, converted to lead 3 -10. 

Shortly after the two sides again exchanged penalties and at half time Sandbach deserved their lead of 6 - 13. The home side regrouped and Hughes delivered the script for the next half focussing on big ball carriers through the centre and creating more opportunities. 

From the kick off Hales did exactly that and began to take the game to the opposition. Barkley supported by Loz Breese and Hughes made impact on the visitors with brothers Carl and Andy Robinson providing incisive running. After 2 minutes wing Joe Oxford was on the end of a planned move and scored an excellent try wide out 11 - 13. 

For the next 25 minutes Hales looked more structured and seemed to have stabilised the pack. They put pressure on Sandbach constantly but the visitors worked hard in defence and maintained a 2 point lead with 10 minutes to go. 

The game continue to swing both ways and Hales again worked a move involving the backs and now more vibrant forwards with Oxford again taking a ball down the centre of the field. He split the defence and as he dived for the try, he struck the goal post. The try was successful but Oxford dislocated his shoulder and left the field. Hooper converted to lead for the first time 18 - 13.

Sandbach again fought back forcing another penalty to pull back to 18 - 16. This was to be a full 80 minute game with both sides desperate to win the spoils. 

One minute from time Hales again turned the screw with forwards and backs driving hard for the visitors line, centre Carl Robinson gathered the ball and crossed the line for a deciding try. Hooper converted for a nail biting but well deserved victory 25 - 16. 

Coach Hughes said after, "It was a tough game but we took everything they had to offer and won. That being said our scrum is not firing on all cylinders, we as a pack need to take ownership and make it the feared weapon it was last season". 

Hales first team have a rest from league rugby this week and meet league leaders Sheffield away on Saturday 22 October. Kick off 3 pm


Second team - Old Halesonians 2nds 19 - 52  Luctonians 2nds

The first half was very competitive with some good attacking rugby played by both sides. Luctonians were first to score after only 3 minutes following an infringement in the lineout by Old Hales. The Lucts fly-half took a quick tap penalty on the Old Hales ten metre line and outpaced the Old Hales defence to score an unconverted try. 

Old Hales replied on 7 minutes after some lively play by scrum half Jamie Keen and the forwards. The ball was then moved quickly to the right and centre Luke Fenton put right wing Alex Church in for a try. Jake Shellis landed the conversion for a 7-5 lead. 

Luctonians fly-half was back in the action with a low cross field kick; the Lucts wing, who appeared to be offside, collected the ball unopposed to score. This time the conversion was successful: 7-12. 

Old Hales weren’t to be outdone as they came back strongly. After some determined play, Hales fly-half Tom Harris kicked over the opposition defence for Alex Church to collect the ball after a Lucts handling error to score and make the scores level at 12-12.

Luctonians were next to score when their No.8 burst through the home defence and as he was tackled he managed to off load for the left wing to score. The try was converted: 12-19. 

A penalty against Lucts at a ruck 35 metres from their line allowed Jamie Keen to take a quick tap penalty; Keen went on a mesmerising run through the visitor’s defence to score. Shellis added the conversion to draw level at 19-19. 

On 31 minutes Luctonians won clean ball from a lineout 5 metres from the Old Hales line. Their hooker collected the ball on the run around and breezed through the Old Hales defence to score. The conversion was added for Luctonians to lead 19-26 at half time. 

Although Old Hales competed at times during the second half, Luctoinians had the better of the half and scored four unanswered tries. The No.8 powered over after only 7 minutes of the second half. The No.10 then slipped through under the posts for a try; this was followed by one of the backrow players scoring close to the posts for a 19-45 lead. 

The final try of the afternoon came when the Lucts No.10 took a quick tap penalty and passed to a backrow player in support to cross the line for a try to make the final score 19-52 to Luctonians.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Alex Church (2), Jamie Keen

Conversions: Jake Shellis (2)


Old Hales 2nds should have played Bromsgrove 2nds in the Cup on Saturday 15th October; however, Bromsgrove have withdrawn and Old Hales have been given a bye into the second round.


Fourth Team - Droitwich Vets 33 - 21 Old Halesonians 4ths


Redditch 2nds pulled out of the planned league game so Old Hales 4ths arranged a friendly away game against Droitwich Vets.


Old Hales 4ths faced a very seasoned Droitwich Vets side that fielded a number of ex Worcester players. Droitwich had the better of the first quarter and quickly amassed 19pts without reply.


Old Hales came back in the second half, with tries from Joe Bradley, Steve Deakin and Andy Tromans. Tromans successfully converted all three of the tries. However, it wasn’t quite enough to prevent a Droitwich win.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Joe Bradley, Steve Deakin, Andy Tromans,

Conversions: Andy Tromans (3)


Old Hales 4ths play Bournville 3rds at home on Saturday 15th October.


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