Henley Hawks V Lydney Match Report
Conveyancing Data Services are proud team sponsors of the Henley Hawks. They are currently sitting top of the National League 2 South table with 70 points. The following is a match report from Saturday 3rd January’s game which they played at their home ground in Henley. There next game is away on Saturday 10th January at 14.30 playing against Southend Saxons.
HAWKS RETURN TO FORM WITH EIGHT TRY TROUNCING OF LYDNEY
by Nick Burden
The Hawks defeated Lydney showing the kind of form that has taken them to the top of the league. They warmed to the task of defeating Lydney in the second half scoring a further six tries to the pair that gave them a 12-5 lead at half-time.
Although they took the lead after only two minutes when skipper Dave Clements collected an accurate line out throw by hooker George Edgson supported by a surge by the rest of the Hawks pack. The good sized crowd in the poor rainy overcast conditions immediately were anticipating a handsome victory over the Forest of Dean side positioned 11th in Division 2 (South).
This did not immediately follow. The Hawks were disrupted by a injury to flanker Tom Steindler who had to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder just seven minutes into his frst XV debut to be replaced by another debutant Jake O'Leary who stepped into his usual position, second row, with Will Woodward completing the resultant shuffle in the back row as blind side flanker.
At this stage of the game scrum-half Connor Murphy seemed to be close to the ball where ever play went and was quick to set the Hawks on the attack through tapped penalties. However the Hawks play at this stage could be best described as stuttering for they were penalised four time in five minutes by referee Gareth Holscgrove which meant that play was largely in the Hawks 22 area. It was from this position that the visitors launched a backs movement which to some extent surprised the Hawks for centre Josh Innes broke through and scored near the posts .The score remained at 5-5 because Lydney kicker Tony Wicks was unable to convert this try as the ball fell off the kicking key before he could make contact.
After this the Hawks came onto the game using their swift running backs to stretch the Lydney defence and none did this more than full back Piers O'\Conor When in possession 35 metres from the Lydney line he scored an outstanding try with a breathless swerving run off both feet to put the Hawks 12-5 in the lead with James Comben's conversion after 17 minutes. He repeated such skilful running, sometimes being put in possession by Lydney's clearance kicks showing ability to beat would-be tacklers by sidestep, swerve and strong hand -off. However the Hawks could not develop sufficient continuity to add to their score at half-time.
Although they were handicapped by an injury to Murphy more or less on the half-time whistle the Hawks took charge of possession on the restart, They switched the emphasis of their attacks immediately to the forwards who had already showed superiority in set scrums and now picked and drove with two powerful surges down the left from line outs which resulted in prop Jimmy Litchfield being driven over for a try to make the score 17-5 three minutes into the half. Such was the dominance of the Hawks pack that the Lydney pack then conceded a penalty try by collapsing a scrum after 49 minutes.
The conversion of this try took the score to 24- 5. Hawks progress in building a considerable margin of victory was given a jolt when skipper Dave Clements was given a yellow card for careless use of a boot in a ruck but in reality this did not hamper the Hawks despite also being without a regular scrum-half for Tom Allen had come off the bench to give a good service to the backs and the resultant momentum saw the Hawks launch attacks down the left to allow the outstanding Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas to pick up and drive over for his sixth try of the season to make the score 31-5.
This was followed by an incredible individual try for a lock by Jake O'Leary. Being put in possession from a loose maul in the Hawks half he proceeded to stagger the visitors cover by running some 55 metres at a pace they could not match to touch down sufficiently near the posts for Comben to kick a difficult conversion to make the score 36-5.
Lydney were now out on their feet for a few minutes later hooker George Edgson picked up a ball from a melee to score and this was converted by Comben as was the final, and eighth scored by replacement wing Jake Randall who ran down the left a distance comparable to that achieved by O'Leary which was again converted by Comben to make the score 50 -5.
A victory which puts the Hawks clear on top of the league by four points.
15. Piers O'Conor, 14. Andre Xavier, 13. Fred Pierrepoint, 12. George Eastwell, 11. Lloyd Owen (Jake Randall 75) 10. James Comben, 9. Connor Murphy (Tom Allen 39), 1.Hugo Milford Scott (Dave Manning 64), 2. George Edgson, 3. Jimmy Litchfield (Tim Coghlan 64), 4. Dave Clements, 5. Will Woodward, 6. Tom Hall, 7. Tom Stendler (Jake O'Leary 7). 8. Oskar Hirskyj- Douglas