Saturday, 31 October 2020

Walker provides two assists as youngsters maintain unbeaten run

THE Henley Hawks Under 13s continued their unbeaten run in 2020 with a hard fought 8-3 away win against Bracknell.

Lining up against bigger, well drilled opponents with a good playing record, the young Hawks knew they would have to be at their disciplined best in difficult conditions.

Henley started brightly and quickly took the play deep into Bracknell territory with fast ball and excellent passing in the backs.

Then, having stretched the Bracknell defence, Laurence Walker put Sam Winters into space who then charged over the line to open the scoring.

Henley kept their concentration after their early score and, once again, the ball was moved quickly down the back line to the left wing where Walker set up fullback Charlie Ashford to run in an excellent try.

Bracknell inevitably fought their way back into the game and scored following some robust running from their big forwards.

Henley captain Tom Yeoman galvanised the team and they immediately responded with Max Cranstoun, Charlie Baker and Sam Bailey taking the ball upfield and putting Angus Spencer away to score just before half-time.

The second half was characterised by some high-quality Henley back play and brave defence as Bracknell tried to force their way back into the tie. But with Sam Bailey, Ashton Ilincic and Ryan Evans dominating the forward battle, Henley were able to punch holes in the Bracknell defence, with Ollie Johnson passing to Will Corbett to run in from 30 yards.

Henley maintained their intensity and a slick back move set up Ben Horner to run through the Bracknell defence and score a fine winger’s try.

However, a dogged Bracknell team once again regrouped and Ashton Ilincic, Toby Shemilt and Ryan Evans had to be at their fearless best to repel some strong running from their larger opponents.

Henley kept their discipline and Spencer showed his pace to score his second try from fullback before Ben Palmer bundled his way over to get his name on the score sheet.

As the Henley team tired in the final 10 minutes, Bracknell’s stand out player crossed the Henley try line twice, but not before Yeoman cleverly intercepted a pass to run the length of the pitch to finish off the game.

The Henley effort was perhaps best summed up by Sam Winters sprinting across the pitch to put in a last ditch try-saving tackle in the last moments of the game, despite a comfortable margin of victory already sealed.

Whilst the victory was marked by a fine all-round team display, special mentions go to front row forwards Oscar Thomas and Louis Wilson who both had outstanding games with strong running, brave tackling and quality handling.

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