Friday, 12 August 2022

Allen set to play at fullback in last appearance

HENLEY HAWKS bring the curtain down on their disappointing season when they host Rosslyn Park at Dry Leas on Saturday, kick-off 3pm

HENLEY HAWKS bring the curtain down on their disappointing season when they host Rosslyn Park at Dry Leas on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

The Hawks, who were relegated to National Division 2 South back in March, almost pulled off a win at Cinderford last week in a topsy-turvy game and will field a more settled side this week. The line-up shows just one switch in the forwards where Julian Watkins will play in the second row in place of Charlie Davey. Tom Haynes comes into the back row.

The backs show a shuffle with James Comben at number 10 in place of Ben Palmer partnering Freddie Taylor who made a successful debut at Cinderford with Tommy Allen switching to fullback as he enters retirement after serving the club for six seasons.

Connor Morrrison, who scored a brace of tries against Coventry, is again available and will provide good cover for the back row on the bench.

The Hawks opened their National Division 1 season at The Rock, Park’s ground with a G-form surface. This was the first time that the Hawks had played a match on such a surface and they went down to a 62-12 defeat that day. Park were at that time the favourites for promotion to the Championship having been runners-up the two previous seasons. This was despite the departure of their accomplished coach Alex Codling to Ulster.

The wheels came off for Park as the season progressed under new coach James Buckland. In early February, when they had slipped to eighth in the league, fly-half Scott Sheddon assumed coaching responsibilities and they have now won seven of their last eight games including victory over rivals Richmond last week, when they had just been proclaimed champions on their way to the professional realms of the Championship.

Although Rosslyn Park heavily recruited at the beginning of the season from a sound financial base, they are now playing a squad, 10 of which played in the last game against the Hawks at Dry Leas in January 2014 led by Sheddon who has just been appointed head coach for next season. One of these players was centre Paul Mackay who scored the winning try against Richmond last week.

The Henley Hawks side for tomorrow’s match is as follows: 15 Tom Allen, 14 Simon Perry, 13 Liam O’Neill, 12 Louis Flynn, 11 Jack Randall, 10 James Comben, 9 Freddie Taylor, 1 Tom West, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Dave Manning, 4 Dave Clements, 5 Julian Watkins, 6 Tom Hall, 7 Jack Wllis, 8 Tom Haynes. Replacements: 16 Billy Moss, 17 Curtiss Langdon, 18 Charlie Davey, 19 Connor Morrison, 20 James Davies.

Elsewhere tomorrow Henley Bulls entertain Worthing Raiders in a curtain raiser on the main pitch (kick-off 1pm).

The Henley Bulls line-up is as follows: 15 Luke Govier, 14 Dyneal Fessal, 13 Charlie Stacey, 12 Udoma Jayudo, 11 Ross Lewis, 10 Ben Palmer, 9 Toby Venner, 1 Cecil MacCarthy, 2 Harry Jackson, 3 Henry Sandys, 4 Wint Tyler, 5 Huw Evans, 6 George Primeet 7 Archie Mcgowan, 8 Barty Carson. Replacements: 16 Matt Hopkins, 17 Will Hyde, 18 Toby Howe, 19 Callum Clarke, 20 Charlie Sichel.

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