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Smith Finds His Legs to Sink Borough

Peterborough Lions 15 - 35 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Oct 5, 2014 09:53pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By John Clark
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Following the impressive scalp of Sutton at Wassell Grove last week Hales travelled the distance to meet Peterborough for the first time.
The home side had not been beaten at home for 3 1/2 years and looked a challenge in terms of size and potential. The Hales boys stepped from the coach and took in the atmosphere. 
The changing room was focussed and the game plan confirmed. Final preparations for battle from Tom Jordan and the visitors took the field in confident mood. 
From the kick off Hales received and drove at the home defence. Forwards took control and after 2mins backs fed Luke Smith on the wing to sprint through the defence for his first try to lead  0 - 5
Peterborough were in shock but fought back with forward power through the middle of the field. Quick ball to their backs saw the home winger score a deserved try wide out 5 - 5.
Not to be outdone Hales fought back and again in the ascendency with forwards Fitzgerald, Taylor and Jordan leading the charge. Nathan Jones at scrum half again controlled the game. From a ruck ball on the opposition 22 he looked blind and hit the shouting Chris Hooper with a precision pass.
Hooper, like last week, accelerated through the defence and slipped the ball outside to Smith who was unstoppable for a classic try, converted by Hooper to lead 5 - 12
Further pressure then from Hales who were working the phases they are used to only to be stopped by the home side infringing, penalty converted by Hooper 5 - 15. 
Peterborough were the bigger side, particularly in the pack but the visitors were in command with aggressive rucking, rolling mauls and sniping from the backs, Any attack by the home back row was dealt with by Owen Jones, Tom Jordan and Nigel Burrows in the visiting back three,
In the backs, Jones at scrum half was excellent, particularly in controlling rucks so as to reduce previous penalty counts. Steve Powell at stand off distributed well with centres Andy Holloway and Carl Robinson strong in attack and defence.
After 30mins Hales again gathered the ball and  a planned move saw Luke Smith played into the centres, split the home defence and went for the line. He was tackled just short but managed to slip the ball to supporting wing Warren Oliver who scored the try to stretch the lead to 5 - 20
Again bad discipline gave Peterborough 2 penalties in succession for scrum offences which
gave the home side opportunity to pull back to 11 - 20 at half time. 
Hales DOR Gary Cox made changes with the fresh legs of brothers Callum and Dan Young at hooker and second row and Loz Breese coming on in his 'new found' position of centre.
The second half needed to continue and renewed pressure did that with replacement kicker Powell slotting a penalty as Hooper was forced to retire injured 11 - 23
2 minutes later Hales were penalised for a rucking offence, Peterborough converted 14 - 23. Again The visitors came back, again finding possession and again finding Smith in the midfield.
He collected, broke the defence and left all behind for his third try and convincing performance to lead 14 - 28. Peterborough would not give up and put some plays together. The Hales defence stood strong in the main but the home side forced their way over for a deserved try 19 - 28
Hales needed to grab this game and put it beyond reach. Not to be outdone at 39 minutes, the visitors took a line out controlled by Mark  Evans, a rolling maul ensued which ended with prop Tom Dempsey  dropping over the try line, converter by Powell for a thoroughly deserved and satisfying away win and bonus point 19 - 35
Team Manager Simon Hussey said, 'Not many teams will come to Peterborough and get a result this season. This win took some real character, to come and get what we wanted with a bonus point shows true character and potential in our players and coaches'
This week Hales meet Sandbach at home, kick off 3 pm.  

Photo: File pic

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