Monday, 15 August 2022

Hosts pay the penalty as Jackson kicks side to first win of season

HENLEY Hawks finally got their season up and running as they ran out winners in their

HENLEY Hawks finally got their season up and running as they ran out winners in their National Division 2 South derby clash at Redingensians on Saturday.

The eagerly awaited derby — the first between the two clubs since the Nineties — attracted a good crowd who witnessed a keenly contested game with the first half much in favour of the home club who led 17-10 at the interval with the Hawks finishing stronger in the second half to win their first match of the season.

The place kicking by the Hawks’ scrum-half George Jackson was the deciding factor. His accuracy from a range of just over 35 metres was such that he succeeded with four penalties and two conversions giving him a match total of 16 points.

Redingensians had the bragging rights as far as try scoring was concerned as they scored three to the Hawks’ two.

The Hawks started the game brightly moving the ball with accurate handling movements but they were not able to make line breaks as the home defence tackled soundly.

Having advanced to the home 25, and putting the Redingensians backs under pressure, a clearance kick was charged down in front of their posts and flanker George Lane followed up to touch down which with Jackson’s conversion put the Hawks 7-0 ahead.

This lead was short lived as the home side took play deep into the Hawks’ half where they were awarded a penalty which fly-half Jacob Atkins kicked from in front of the posts. Although the Hawks had an opportunity to increase their lead when they made a rare break in the centre they ignored a scoring pass on the wing.

The hosts then had a spell in which they pinned the Hawks in their own territory. Their set scrums were under pressure and when the Hawks attempted clearance by kicking to half way and beyond the Redingensians ran the ball back at them stretching their defence.

The Hawks put themselves under pressure by over-throwing at the line-outs. This eventually resulted in the hosts scoring two tries – first of all through wing Sean Macdermottroe making the score 10-7 and then after 20 minutes from a driving maul by lock Phil Hoy to increase their advantage to 17-7.

As half-time approached the Hawks began to get into the home side’s territory and Jackson kicked his first penalty to make the score 17-10.

From the start of the second half the Hawks were a rejuvenated team. Throughout the half they kept the new momentum going by using their replacements.

The first reward was 10 minutes into the half when they drove for a try touched down by replacement hooker Stuart Philpott which with the conversion levelled the score to 17-17 only to have this countered in the next minute when a clearance kick bounced on the point of the ball whilst the fullback anticipated a straight forward catch for Redingensians fullback Jak Rossiter chasing hard to catch it on the Hawks 22 to touch down. This was not converted.

The last 20 minutes of the game was virtually spent entirely in the Redingensians half with the Hawks pack, led in particular by Tom Hall, getting the measure of a tiring home side with turnovers keeping them on the back foot.

This led to inevitable penalty offences which were meat and drink to Jackson who slotted home three kicks at regular intervals to win the match for the Hawks.

The four points picked up by Henley Hawks lifted them up two places in the league table to 11th position.

Henley Hawks: 15 James Comben, 14 Simon Perry, 13 Louis Flynn (Tom Gardner, 40 mins), 11 Dyneal Fessal, 10 Joe Butler, 9 George Jackson, 1 Brad Cook (Tom Emery, 72 mins), 2 Tom Emery (Stuart Philpott, 49 mins), 3 Ziana Montout-Alexis (Zaki Chamnaoui, 72 mins), 4 David Hyde, 5 Charles Davey (Dave Clements, 49 mins), 6 George Lane (Iwan Davies, 40 mins), 7 Tom Hall, 8 Jacob Albon.

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