South Leicester 39 - 25 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2015 06:22pm
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Simon Hussey
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Old Hales first team travelled to league leaders South Leicester who are certain for promotion to National 2 leagues next season. This was to become a close encounter from the kick off.
The home side immediately got into their stride with their simple but effective catch a driving mauls from set play and lineout in particular. After 9 minutes a catch and drive from Leicester resulted in a converted try despite stern defence by Hales 7 - 0.
Three minutes later Hales came back  with driving runs from Pete Fitzgerald,  Tom Jordan and Tom King. Hales backs were in tune with several attacking moves including Carl and Andy Robinson, Warren Oliver and Chris Hooper orchestrating. 
On 12 minutes the pressure continued, Hooper received a ball in midfield and made a break to score a try wide out, missing the conversion 7 - 5. The next 10 minutes saw Hales unnerving the opposition with crunching tackles and intensity, the home players were expecting to walk this game but Hales had other ideas.
Leicester again fought back following an infringement. Again a lineout, catch and drive for another converted try on 21 minutes put them 14 - 5 in the lead. Again Hales came back from the kick off, forwards secured good ball. Scrum Half Greg Smith gave regular service to Gareth  Bown at 10. 
Constant pressure by the Hales forwards and backs forced two penalties from the home side in quick succession. Hooper converted both to pull the score back to 14 - 11.   
Leicester were visibly in shock as the Hales backs gave them constant problems.
On 34 minutes King received the kick off, forwards supported. Skipper Rich Taylor, having a great game with his lines of running, fed fellow Prop Louis Padian on the right flank. He set off on one of his runs, out pacing the opposition pack. As the full back approached Luke Smith took the inside pass to sprint into the opposition half.
His mazy run into the centre of the field saw him caught but fed the supporting backs. Wing Oliver came inside and then outpaced his opposite wing to score on 34 minutes. Hooper took a brilliant conversion from the touch line for Hales to take the lead 14 - 18.
The challenge was set, Leicester supporters had gone quiet. Their team were playing catch up, a scrum close on the Hales 22 resulted in a penalty for a Hales front row infringement, this was to be costly,
The home side kicked for touch, another catch drive and try, again against valiant Hales defence but the bulk of the Leicester pack took them over. The conversion was good giving  the home side a 21 - 18 lead at half time.
This was a missed opportunity for Hales who deserved to be ahead at this stage. The second half saw Hales against the slope and wind expecting an onslaught. Leicester put pressure on resulting in a drop goal from the Hales 22 metre line. From the kick off, again the home side worked their forwards.
Hales tackled hard with Jordan, Carl Robinson, Fitzgerald and Taylor leading the way. Nevertheless Leicester kicked to the corner, the ball was passed to their replacement Wing, former premiership player Lee Robinson, who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed for a lead of 29 - 18.
Again Hales regrouped and took the game to Leicester. Solid forward play and continuing driving mauls saw the home side penalised on many occasions. A lineout catch and drive again saw Leicester infringing under the pressure. As a result they lost 2 players to yellow cards.
On 69 minutes Hales took advantage and from another scrum the home side gave away a penalty try, converted by Hooper 29 - 25 with 10 minutes to go. Hales could not capitalise on the two man advantage and on 75 minutes conceded a penalty to go 32 - 25 behind. 
The least Hales deserved was a losing bonus point but on 80 minutes Leicester broke away for a final try and conversion to win 39 - 25.
Team Manager Simon Hussey said, "We showed today what we are capable of. We need to work on the finer detail but the players should be congratulated on their performance against the outright promotion team in this league"
Hales first team meet Bournville away this Saturday, kick off 2.15 pm 
No game as Worcester conceded.                                                                                                
Old Halesonians Vets 
Report By Brad Vernon 
Old Halesonians Vets welcomed a youthful Alcester 2nd team to Wassell Grove on Saturday. An over confident Halesowen side started poorly and conceded three tries in the first half an hour, after dominating territory but gifting possession to the opposition. The Vets then began their fightback with skipper Brad Vernon scoring after neat play by Jon Harris and Gavin Evans. In a keenly fought contest two more tries from Vernon and one apiece from Nick Lacey and Al Church saw the vets run out 27-22 victors.


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