THE Henley Vultures picked up a resounding win in their first match of the year
THE Henley Vultures picked up a resounding win in their first match of the year away to Olney Occasionals last Saturday in a friendly fixture.
Olney have been one of the best veterans’ sides in the Midlands and South in recent years, having won their regional Veterans Cup competition the last two years.
Henley played down the hill and against the strong wind in the first half and went behind when a home player picked up a dropped pass to run 40 metres to score.
The Henley pack then took control of the game and after repelling several attacks a driving line out saw skipper Mark Venner emerge to claim score the try. Andy Noyce converted to put the Vultures 7-5 ahead.
The Hawks continued to dominate up front and mid-way through the half a clean line out, and several efficient loose phases, the ball was worked left to Jonny Carson who evaded the cover and then drew the fullback to put the supporting Noyce in for a good team try which he duly converted. After a brief period of Olney pressure the ball was turned over by James Winterbottom and moved swiftly left where Carson again beat the cover and streaked home from around half-way, to bring the score to 19-5 at half-time.
The second half was a much more even but Henley still enjoyed dominance in the tight through Simon Matthews and Jim Hadfield.
Henley scored next through driving the Olney pack off their scrum ball 15 yards out which allowed the Vultures’ number eight Matt Payne to canter over unopposed.
The Vultures did have a couple more opportunities to extend their lead, but much of the rest of the game was spent in defence before Olney pulled a try back 10 minutes from time.