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Friday, 28 February 2020
HENLEY VULTURES came off second best in their annual friendly veterans fixture against RAF Vultures on Maidenhead’s 4G synthetic pitch on Wednesday evening of last week.
The RAF started the match brightly and within a few minutes scored between the posts followed by a conversion. Within another 10 minutes, the RAF had broken through once more to score another converted try bringing it to 14-0.
As half-time approached, Henley had started to repel the RAF attacks and countered well but with several of their own chances of scoring wasted, it looked like Henley were in for a long hard evening. However, Henley’s backs started their own periods of attack with Anthony Cope, playing out of position, and Andy Noyce cutting through the RAF lines, Henley were unfortunate to see a counter bring the half-time score to 21-0.
Early in the second half Henley lost Jack Matthews from their front row due to a calf injury, which saw their scrum lose some of its shape. Henley then lost Paul Wicker who also suffered a calf injury.
The RAF also had some good breaks, one of which was rewarded by a further converted try bringing the score line to 28-0. There was some real ebb and flow to the game now with both sides having scoring chances but it was Henley who finally got over the line with Tim Simmonds scoring.
With Simon Shaw coming off the bench at scrum half, Henley had some more control of the game and Jim Hadfield and Ben Fennel held the scrum well. Hadfield, from the front row, set up a break for Brian Pyle to score.
As the game entered the final stages, the RAF managed a further score from a rolling maul but after some good attacks by Henley captain David O’Leary and Chris Darke, Pyle was in again scoring his second try to reduce the arrears to 33-15.
27 January 2020
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