HENLEY VETS ran out winners of the Oxfordshire Veterans Floodlit Cup with a 27-15 win over Chinnor Oxen at Iffley
HENLEY VETS ran out winners of the Oxfordshire Veterans Floodlit Cup with a 27-15 win over Chinnor Oxen at Iffley Road.
Henley’s pack tore into Chinnor from the kick-off. Tackles and counter-rucks flew in with Moolman, Holder, and Sampson to the fore, the renewed partnerships of Venner and Mortimore in the back row and Fuller and Hamilton-Smith up front refusing to give Chinnor any platform to work from.
Henley’s Jerry Sampson had to leave the field after 10 minutes with a detached Achilles’ tendon. He was replaced by Ash Gow who helped produce the first score. Gow stole a line-out on the Chinnor 22 and quick hands through the back line led to Simon Hearn drifting through a hole in the defence to touch down on the far right-hand side of the goal line.
Henley continued to apply the pressure as Pete Davies consistently drove his forwards and took advantage of a quick tap at a free kick and the ball was whipped through several pairs of hands before the move broke down five metres from the Chinnor line.
Dean Holder found himself in space towards the right wing and was able to meander through to score.
During the half Chinnor kicked a penalty and scored a try from a rolling maul, which was converted, to leave the scores level at 10-10 at the interval.
The second half saw the forwards continue to supply Davies with a solid platform, his service allowed Stebbings to set free the entre pairing of Osman and Hearn, who in turn were ably supported by the incursions of Cotton from fullback and Farrow and Knight on the wings.
Henley’s third try was created by a move from Stebbings, switching the point of attack from right to left and releasing Cotton and then on to Farrow with the scoring burst. Stebbings shot wide with the conversion.
Chinnor came back at Henley with their second try. Henley hit back and were camped on the Chinnor line, Hamilton-Smith and Fuller both held up over the goal line without a try awarded. Eventually the Chinnor defence cracked with Holder going over for his brace in almost a carbon copy of his first.
Chinnor by now were chasing the game and despite being given a glimpse of a chance by Davies’ attempted reverse pass the experience in Henley’s defence was showing up well.
With the match being played fast and loose, Chinnor had one last attempt to run the ball out of their own 22 but threw a loose pass straight to Priestley who glided through to touch down under the posts. Stebbings added the conversion on the final whistle.