Friday, 19 August 2022

Free-scoring Vikings put Shire Hall to the sword

HENLEY VIKINGS eased to a comfortable home victory against struggling Berkshire Shire Hall in last Saturday’s Tribute Berks, Bucks and Oxon Division 2 South clash.

With the visitors struggling for players the match started at 13-a-side.

The Vikings got off to a promising start with the first points notched up by Sam Grindey off the wing and converted by fly-half Gordon Kerins.

It was only a few minutes later that centre and Vikings’ team captain Sam Quelch broke through the middle and sprinted half the length of the pitch to touch down with another Kerins conversion. This was followed again promptly by some fine passing throughout the three quarters which saw Grindey again go over the line, but Kerins was unable to convert.

With the score line already at 19-0, matters looked difficult for Shire Hall, but they stuck at it with commitment and perseverance but were then beaten by Vikings’ wing, Stuart Mun-Gavin, going over in the corner with a slick offload from hooker Charlie Sichel.

Centre Ben Wiltshire was the next to score, with Kerins to convert. At 31-0, Shire Hall were struggling but then pulled something out of the hat with a try by Alex Webb but failed with the conversion.

At 31-5 Grindey stepped up again with a Kerins conversion bringing the score to 38-5, which was followed by a fine move by Mun-Gavin who dribbled the ball 30 metres beating the opposition to score with Kerins again converting.

Within less than five minutes, it was Mun-Gavin again adeptly playing football, again kicking ahead and dribbling the ball over the line for his second try. Kerins converted just ahead of half-time which saw the score at 52-5.

The second half started well for Shire Hall with an additional player turning up and both sides increasing their number to 14-a-side. Shire Hall continued to show a determination to get points on the board at the very least but as Henley settled down, it was Grindey again showing his pace and going over in the corner. The angle was tight, and the conversion attempt failed as was the next when Luke Rosier coming off the bench stretched his legs to score.

With the scoreline now at 62-5, Shire Hall still maintained their effort and were rewarded with a try by Gwyn Robins. At this point in the game, Henley were perhaps to keen to get more points and after repeated warnings from the referee for handling, the yellow card was shown to Henley prop, Dan Folley. Despite the overall shortage of front row players, the game was still able to proceed on a contested scrum basis.

Being one player down, was not enough to slow Henley and it was now Quelch who scored his second try of the day with Kerins finding his earlier form and converting.

At this point, Shire Hall rallied again and then followed the longest passage of play in the game before Wiltshire went over for his second try and then the final try of the game was score by Ollie Cassell, with Kerins converting both the last two tries.

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