Old Halesonians 39 - 6 Longton

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2016 04:44pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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There was a festive feel to this game as an expectant home crowd hoped for a repeat of the previous weeks victory at Derby. The home side saw a change with skipper Steve Leach replacing injured Ben Barkley in the centres with Colt Kieran Haynes starting in the back row and second row Jamie Powell on the bench. 

After 5 minutes of Hales pressure, scrum half Chris Danks took the ball from a loose maul. He dummied his opposite man, raced forward, sold another dummy for a brilliant individual try to lead 5 - 0. 

From the restart, Hales again attacked with many ball carriers making ground including Rich Taylor, Adam Clayton, Neil Mason, Loz Breese and Joe Collingham. Longton were penalised in their 22, full back Ian Briggs converted to lead 8 - 0.

On 13 minutes Hales again on the offensive, dominant in the scrum with front row Taylor, Hooker Sam Jones and Matt Probert providing the pressure, another penalty for the home side. Fly half Chris Hooper took a quick tap and passed to Danks for his second try, converted by Briggs to lead 15 - 0. 

Longton came back with some phases although their handling was not good. They forced a penalty 15 - 3 shortly followed by another 15 - 6. Hales needed to re assert themselves before half time. 

Clayton received a yellow card for a high tackle as Hales put more pressure on the visitors with Breese and Mason showing their forward power. Another penalty to Hales resulted and Briggs converted for an 18 - 6 lead at half time.

Hales deserved to be further ahead given their possession. On 46 minutes another dominant line out by Breese saw the ball fed along the backs, from Hooper inside to wing Jay Reid who sprinted through the gap to score a great try, converted by Briggs 25 - 6. 

The home side made changes with Matt Young on at prop for Probert, Jamie Keen on for Danks and Powell on for Collingham. Longton found it hard to gain any grip on the game and any attacks were thwarted by Hales defence with Hooper, Robinson, Clayton and Mason tackling really well. 

Keen kept the Hales team going forward with quick service and Hooper controlled play. On 70 minutes from a set scrum, Clayton broke, passed to Keen to Mason to Haynes to Hooper who sprinted for a bonus point try, converted by Briggs 32 - 6. The home side had their heads up now and attacked at will.

From the restart, great strength and determination by Taylor and Jones in attack resulted in a loose maul on the Longton 22. Keen collected and with great vision chipped over the defence for wing Luke Smith to beat his opposite man for a try, converted by Briggs to win 39 - 6.

After the game Director of Rugby Gary Cox praised the effort of the players. "We got exactly what we asked for today, 5 points to put us 5th in the league and back in contention. We will rest the players for a week and return in preparation for our biggest challenge away at Nuneaton" 

Hales play Nuneaton away on Saturday 7 January, 2027, kick off 2.15 pm



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