Saturday, 20 August 2022

Hosts end strongly in derby defeat

HENLEY Hawks Colts were well beaten at Dry Leas on Sunday but there was much that was encouraging in their display against more experienced opponents.

In the course of the match, Henley made full use of their squad of 21 players, giving a number of the relative newcomers the opportunity to play. Henley showed up well for much of the first half despite playing against a strong wind, with centre Ollie Ainsworth initially troubling the Marlow backs through determined probing thrusts.

From inside his own 22 fly-half Jamie Winch put in a long, rolling kick that Rhys Edwards gathered and outpaced the cover defence to score a good try.

Henley were playing enterprising rugby but lost centre Edwards during the first half and this affected the continued cohesion of the backline.

Ed Houghton, with support from Oscar James and then Matt Kernick secured Henley good line-out ball at various stages, whilst Sam Williams, Ben Stacey and Henry MacLeod were prominent in an impressive Henley scrum.

Henley continued to attack throughout the first half without reward, whilst Marlow were quick to capitalise on errors to take a 19-5 lead at the interval.

The visitors also made good use of the wind with lengthy kicks for position deep into Henley territory.

During the first part of the second half, Marlow built on their ascendancy and scored three further tries, but there were nevertheless several memorable moments for the Henley players.

A neat kick over the Marlow backline by Matt Dalrymple was collected and dotted down by Winch just centimetres from the dead-ball line.

Man-of-the-match Callum Brady then crashed over in the corner after some enterprising backline play that featured Ben Cheng befpre captain Tom Priestley crossed the line for a fourth try.

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