Thursday, 18 August 2022

Hawks are swept aside by high-flying Old Elthamians

Hawks are swept aside by high-flying Old Elthamians

A DEPLETED Henley Hawks side lost out at Old Elthamians on a cold day last Saturday.

The match was played in wintry conditions on a big open sports field with a firm surface which cut up to an extent as the game wore on.

The home side was a well organised one with a defined game plan which was indicative of their high position in the Division 2 South table.

Old Elthamians opened the game confidently and were two tries up in the first 10 minutes thanks to scores by hooker Jay Rudland-Thomas and centre James Colledge. Former Hawks fly-half Will Robinson had not brought his kicking boots with him so the lead of 10 points was not improved upon by conversions.

The Hawks immediately got in the game with a try after just nine minutes with their best move of the match. This came from a handling move between fullback Joe Butler, who scored after good link up play with wing Connor Hayhow. Unfortunately George Jackson missed the conversion, so the score stood at 10-5. Within 10 minutes the home side doubled their lead with tries by wing Dominic Lespierre and a second by Colledge who took advantage of poor Hawks tackling, which was also subject to a major injury to Hawks’ number 10 James Comben, who, after examination, was taken to hospital with a neck injury and was discharged later that evening with no fracture.

The poor kicking display continued with both conversions being sent wide so the score stood at 20-5 after 23 minutes.

The Hawks then put in some effective driving play with skipper Dave Clements combining well with prop Dave Manning who touched down a cleverly conceived try. Jackson, like his counterparts, could not improve this score which stood at 20-13 just short of half-time as Jackson did convert a penalty on the half-time whistle to leave the Hawks seven points adrift, after 40 minutes.

The absence of Comben did not help the Hawks’ efforts to stay in the game and fullback Tom White was able to finish an attack to make the score 25-13 after 49 minutes. The Hawks were handicapped further when Rob Bell collected a yellow card for a technical offence. This was after 59 minutes and was the prelude to replacement hooker Nathan Morris, just released from London Welsh to Old Elthamians, scoring two tries, one of which was converted by Robinson.

The Hawks finished the scoring in the game when Jackson registered the last try with an individual effort after 73 minutes which he converted to make the final score 39-20.

Henley Hawks: 15 Joe Butler (James Steventon-Wright, 40 mins), 14 Connor Hayhow, 13 Xavier Andre (Jim Hadfield, 67 mins), 12 Liam O’Neill, 11 Simon Perry, 10 James Comben (Sam Portland, 22 mins), 9 George Jackson, 1 David Manning, 2 Stuart Philpott (Tom Emery, 47 mins), 3 Ziana Montout-Alexis, 4 David Hyde, 5 Jake Albon (Thomas Haynes, 40 mins), 6 Dave Clements, 7 Rob Bell, 8 Marcus Lowe.

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