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Sheffield 31- 15 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2016 09:04pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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It may be a cliché but this was to be a game of two halves with Hales travelling to South Yorkshire to meet league leaders Sheffield. 

After 4 minutes the young fit home side started pressuring Hales for an early penalty which was missed. From the kick off Sheffield gained possession but great work by Ben Hughes forced a turnover. Hales scrum half Chris Danks fed Ian Briggs to centre Ben Barkley who made ground to feed Chris Hooper. He kicked intelligently for the corner and straight into the hands of wing Luke Smith who stepped inside to score an unconverted try to lead 0 - 5. 

From the restart Sheffield fought back up the right hand side and won a scrum against the head. The pack provided ball to the fly half who evaded Hales tackles to score under the posts with conversion 7 - 5. 

Hales responded on 19 minutes with Hughes winning line out ball, strong driving by wing forward Adam Clayton,  Loz Breese and Rich Taylor forced the home side to infringe, Hooper converted 7 - 8. Ten minutes later Hughes left the field with injury, replaced by Colt Kieran Haynes who equipped himself well around the field.  

Hales had a 10 minute period of pressure and dominance but could not convert into points. Hales prop Matt Young left the field with a blood injury, replaced by Tom Dempsey on the loose head who added forward momentum alongside Hooker Jordan Page and prop Rich Taylor who was the all-round star of the Hales pack. 

On 35 minutes Hales continued with the pressure, the pack taking control. The ball again moved along the backs to centre Ben Barkley who broke through the opposition making good ground. From the resulting ruck, centre Carl Robinson collected the ball and sprinted through the gap for a try, converted by Hooper to lead 7 - 15 at half time. 

The visitors could feel well satisfied with the first half performance with Sheffield having little time in the Hales 22, a great start to the game. The second half was not to be the same. Hales captain Steve Leach had to leave the field with a leg injury, replaced by the returning Hughes. 

Sheffield took the initiative with constant pressure up the centre of the field, Hales tackling was not consistent. The Home side scored a converted try and were back in the game 14 - 15. 

On 50 minutes, again the home side took the initiative with driving runs by the pack, Hales tackling was unusually inadequate. The right wing outpaced the Hales defence for an unopposed converted try to retake the lead 21 - 15. 

Hales replaced Andy Holloway with Colt Cael Hodgson on the wing, they were also suffering injuries and not helped by indiscipline.  Yellow cards for Clayton and Breese reduced the side to 13 for a while. Sheffield took this initiative forcing a penalty to lead 24 - 15.  

Hales had lost their way with some inept tackling and lack of the control that they set out in the early stages of the game. On 73 minutes Sheffield again made ground and camped in  the Hales 22.  Although some staunch defending in the maul, a loose ball fell to the home scrum half who sprinted through a gap to score and converted try to win 31 - 15. 

Hales Director of Rugby, Gary Cox said after the game, " A disappointing result, one we know we could have pinched, our tackling and indiscipline let us down. Man for man they were no better than us, we need to regroup and come back stronger next week". 

Hales now sit 4th in the league, 2 points behind Derby in 3rd and meet Syston at home next Saturday, kick off 2.15.

 

Second team - Lichfield 2nds 20 - 17 Old Halesonians 2nds

 

Third team - Old Halesonians 3rds 43 - 19 Vesyans 2nds

 

Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Steve Deakin, Sol Rogers (2), Chris Harris, Callum Weston, Callum Roberts, George Eccles

Conversions: Steve Deakin (3), George Eccles

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