HENLEY College missed a good opportunity to move up the Southern Conference of the RFU AASE League following defeat at league leaders Ivybridge.
Henley started well when early pressure led to the home side conceding a penalty which Alex Harrison converted to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.
Ivybridge had a period of sustained pressure resulting from some missed first up tackles, Henley managed to repel most of these attacks thanks to their scramble defence. However, when they had a chance to clear their lines a wild pass from the base of a scrum led to a penalty in front of the posts which Ivybridge kicked to level the scores.
Midway through the half Henley regained the lead thanks to a set piece move which released Tom Inglis down the left wing. Having beaten his opposite number Inglis was able to reward fullback Dylan Teasdale with the try scoring pass. In persistent drizzle and poor underfoot conditions the visitors made errors and Ivybridge punished these with an unconverted try and penalty to lead 11-8 at the break.
In the second half Henley started to kick more intelligently and play more in Ivybridge’s half. These tactics were working well until the home side intercepted a pass just outside their 22 metre line and breaking out of defence some good link play allowed their open side flanker to race away from the halfway line and put them two scores clear.
Henley responded in the right manner by pinning Ivybridge in their own half with some good kicking and an aggressive kick chase. This soon led to a penalty 30 metres out which Harrison converted to bring Henley back within a score at 11-16.
Despite some good build-up play with forwards and backs combining well, Henley were finding it difficult to string phases together in the deteriorating conditions. Two long distance penalties gave the league leaders some breathing space and these proved to be the final acts in a hard-fought encounter in difficult conditions
Henley College’s next match is on Wednesday against London Irish AASE team, St Pauls. The game will take place at Dry Leas (kick-off 7pm).