Old Halesonians see off Lions

Old Halesonians 23 - 16 Peterborough Lions

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015 06:26am
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Simon Hussey
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Outstanding Old Hales pulled out all the stops to produce success over second placed Peterborough Lions whose team read like an International South African select side.
Hales came into this game with an unconvincing win against Sutton last week when they failed to dominate.
Injuries to stalwart Tom Jordan and Nigel Burrows saw Loz Breese and Jay Martin completing the back row with player/coach Mark Evans. 
This became a deciding factor in this game against a dominant forward display initially by the visitors. After 7 minutes Hales showed immediate stability in the scrum with props Louis Padian, Rich Taylor and hooker Pete Fitzgerald providing a solid scrum for the backs to work from.
Immediate pressure from the Hales side led to a penalty on the visitors 22. Full back Chris Hooper took a quick penalty and fed to flanker Loz Breese for his first try of the game to lead 5 - 0.
The next period of play saw the Lions fight back, on 10 and 13 minutes Hales gave away two simple penalties which Carrington  converted for the visitors 5 - 6.
Hales again came back with some excellent forwards and backs combinations. Scrum Half Nathan Jones and fly half Gareth Bown provided ample ball to the Hales backs, Hooper and Carl Robinson were always a threat and wing Warren Oliver making telling runs into the visiting defence. 
On 20 minutes pressure forced a penalty which Hooper converted to lead 8 - 6. After 27 minutes Peterborough were reduced to 14 men for foul play, Hales should have capitalised on this but the visitors stood strong. 
After 35 minutes the visitors put a high kick into the Hales half. Oliver collected on the half way line and set off on a run outside the opposite backs, he drew the last man and fed to supporting wing, Luke Smith who sprinted and dived for a great try, Hooper missed the conversion for a lead of 13 - 6.
Lions came back but the home defence stood strong up until the 39th minute. The big lumbering pack of the visitors mauled towards the Hales line, the defence was beaten by forward pressure for a try by the visitors which was converted for a 13 - 13 draw at half time.
Hales rallied the troops and were  confident they could move the tiring opposition pack around the field. The second half saw the home side take control. Ground making runs by a great back row performance of Jay Martin. Loz Breese and player coach Mark Evans took the game to Lions. 
A lapse in concentration on 47mins gifted another penalty to Peterborough to take the lead 13 - 16 but Hales were in no mood to let this slip. 
Possession then stayed in the main with Hales who played the phases and fed their backs who made ground through Bown, Robinson, Holloway, Hooper and Smith.
A planned move involving Jones, Bown and Robinson saw Carl clear through the defence but ran out of legs just before the line. Hales were dominating lineout ball with Evans and Tom King in control, regularly pinching Lions balls, 
On 53 minutes from a perfect throw by Fitzgerald to Evans, a rolling maul took the play in field which tied up the Lions defence. Jones fed Fitzgerald to Taylor to Guy Field  who passed to Breese for his second try of the game to lead 18 - 16.
The pressure continued with further breaking runs by Martin and Breese. On 58mins more excellent work by the home pack including Guy Field  and King, Jones at scrum half fed Bown to Hooper in support. He found wing Smith with work to do.
He set off, rounded his opposite man for his second try in the corner. Hooper missed the conversion but Hales were in the ascendancy leading  23 - 16.  The final 20 minutes was much the same. Lions tried to come back but the home side were determined to keep possession.
Hales camped in the opposition 22 and were unlucky not to further the lead, on the final whistle the home side were well deserved winners 23 - 16.
Simon Hussey, Team Manager said, "This was a great win off the back of an unconvincing win at Sutton last week. Our game plan worked and all players contributed to a first class performance"
Old Hales first team have a break from league rugby next week, they meet Sandbach away on Saturday 31st January, kick off 2.15 pm 

Old Patesians  39pts  Old Halesonians 2nds 10pts

Match Report by Dan Hunt 


Old Hales travelled down to Cheltenham to face a strong Old Pats side. The early stages of the game were even with both teams working hard to retain possession. Old Hales scored first when a kick and chase downfield led to Old Pats losing possession and the visitors capitalised on this by moving the ball to the left to release wing James Mitchell. Mitchell, with little room to work with, used his superior pace to glide past the Old Pats defence to score.

Old Pats regained possession from the kick off and immediately put pressure on the Old Hales defence. The visitors became frustrated with some of the refereeing decisions but Old Pats stayed focused and forced their way over for two tries in quick succession, taking the lead 12-5.

Old Hales tried to get back into the game but Old Pats had the upper hand and stretched the Old Hales defence to score two further tries to make the half time score 24-5.

Old Hales started the second half with some renewed vigour and moved the ball quickly. Mike Topping featured regularly in attacking moves gaining good ground. Unfortunately from one of the attacks, centre Oli Kealey suffered a knee injury. After prolonged professional treatment from the Old Pats physiotherapists, Oli left the field in a leg brace and was taken to hospital with suspected ligament damage.

Shortly after the game restarted, the ball popped out from an Old Pats scrum and the scrumhalf made good ground before passing to the supporting fullback who went over to score.

At a lineout, Old Hales hooker, Bobby Moxon, received a yellow card for illegally taking out the Old Pats scrumhalf. The home side made the most of the one man advantage and scored two tries from long range to make the score 39-5.

With only minutes remaining Old Hales attacked from deep with the ball passing through the hands of Topping, Liam Kendrick and Dave Wakefield before reaching James Mitchell on the halfway line. Once again Mitchell used his pace to beat two players and the cover defence to score in the corner to make the final score 39-10.

Old Hales scorers: Tries: James Mitchell (2)


Kings Norton 2nds  23pts  Old Halesonians 3rds/4ths  41pts


Due to Old Hales postponing the league game against Malvern because of a waterlogged pitch, a game was arranged away against Kings Norton 2nds.

Old Hales ran out winners, scoring 7 tries against Kings Norton 3 tries.


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