Old Halesonians 27 - 17 Sandbach

Old Halesonians RFC Weekend Round Up

Last Updated: Oct 6, 2015 07:37pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Mark Jackson
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Old Halesonians 27 - 17 Sandbach


This was never going to be easy given the potential of a fast fit Sandbach side with whom Hales share 2 victories each over the last two seasons.


From the kick off the visitors showed their intentions and after only 6 minutes breached the unusually slack Hales backline for an early converted try to lead  0 - 7.


The home side needed to pick their game up and gradually took a grip but only in phases. The Hales front row of Louis Padian, Pete Fitzgerald and skipper Rich Taylor were dominant in the tight scrummage, providing adequate ball for the backs.


Scrum Half Dave Hadkiss did his best  to distribute but the back line and supporting forwards did not seem to flow as it normally does, the Sandbach defence was really effective. But 15 minutes of strong running by Jordan, Fitzgerald and back row Max McFarlane gave Hales good ground. 


The Hales backs led by man of the match Ben Barkley continued to press, resulting in a well taken try by fly half Oli Rayner, converted by Chris Hooper to level the scores 7 - 7.


Sandbach came back again, this was to be the theme for the whole game. They tested the Hales defence time and again and on 24 minutes won a line out in the home 22. They mauled the ball towards the line with defenders hanging off to score a well deserved push over try, converted to lead 7 - 14.


The home side needed to play to their strengths and from the restart drove into the opposition with phases and strong running by Tom King, Owen Jones and Guy Field. Another scrum was dominated by the home pack as pressure was applied. 


A line out win by King, a drive towards the line, thwarted by the Sandbach defence. Another scrum in the centre of the field in the Sandbach 22 resulted in a collapsed scrum by the visitors, a penalty try awarded by the referee,  converted by Hooper to tie the scores again 14 - 14.


Hales attacked from the restart, centres Carl Robinson and Ben Barkley combining well with Hooper and supported by Jordan, Taylor and Fitzgerald. On 40 minutes another driving maul by Hales was rewarded with a try  from McFarlane, conversion missed by Hooper for a half time score 

19 - 14.


The half time chat was stern for the home team who needed to up their game and it be dictated to. Immediately from kick off Hales ran at the opposition, excellent inter passing saw Padian collect the ball and burst over the line for an unconverted try to lead 24 - 14.


Shortly afterwards Sandbach came back with some strong passages of play and were awarded a penalty to pull back to 24 - 17. The game could have gone either way this stage with both sides showing ability to score, any mistakes could be crucial.


Sandbach had more of the ball in the half and always threatened and remained within one score to draw level, On 61 minutes the home side were relieved to gain a penalty just inside their 22 which Hooper slotted 27 - 17.


For the last 20 minutes of the game Sandbach put Hales under constant pressure with many try scoring chances. The defence of Hales was fantastic and up until the final whistle they stood strong to a man for a well earnt victory.


Head Coach Ben Hughes told the players that the defensive effort was excellent but they needed to put some things right for next week against a strong Scunthorpe team away (kick off 2.30)


Hales sit 2nd in National League 3 Midlands behind Hinckley but on the same points as the leaders. 


Second team - Broadstreet 2nds  v  Old Halesonians 2nds


Old Hales 2nds travelled the 40 miles to face Broadstreet 2nds in the Midlands Reserve League. Shortly after arrival Old Hales received the extremely disappointing news that Broadstreet couldn’t field a team.


Old Hales captain, Rob Butler, was frustrated at the lack of communication from Broadstreet to call the game off earlier but accepted the walkover league win.


Third team - Kidderminster 2nds 14 - 24 Old Halesonians 3rds   


The league fixture against Kiddy 2nds was a much tougher proposition than the friendly game played two weeks ago.


Kiddy fielded a much stronger team that had more than their fair share of possession. Old Hales defended well and took their opportunities in attack to score four well taken tries, with two tries from centre Phil Jukes and one each from wingers Callum Roberts and Dan Smith.


Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Phil Jukes (2), Callum Roberts, Dan Smith

Conversions:  Gaz Price (2)


Fourth team - Old Halesonians 4ths/Vets 66 - 7 Kidderminster 3rds


Old Hales played Kiddy 3rds in the Dave Cook memorial cup game. Old Hales ran out comfortable winners with a final score of 66-7.


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