Awards Dinner fitting end to the season

On Saturday, the Henley RFC Awards Dinner was held at the Clubhouse and was voted by all who attended, over 100 players, members and club officials as a huge success and the final gathering of the season to celebrate all of the accomplishments over the course of the past year.

The evening was presented by Director of Rugby, Nigel Dudding and was a fitting climax to a season which was an undoubted success at all levels.

Although the Hawks had, what was acknowledged to be a disappointing start to the season before the Christmas break, they then certainly improved in the New Year and had the fourth best record of the sides finishing in the top half of the league thereafter.

The recipients of the Awards on the evening were as followed;

HAWKS AWARDS

Player of the Year - David Hyde

Most Promising Player - Marcus Lowe

Supporters Player of the Year - Tom Hall

Supporter of the Year (new award) - Pete Albon

BULLS

In a league consisting  of 2nd XV’s of Championship Sides, Division ! clubs and Division 2 teams, they had six victories in the first half of the season

BULLS AWARDS

Player of the Year - Josh Collis

Most Promising Player - Toby Howe

VIKINGS

Promoted to BB&O 1 winning 17 out of their 18 matches in a hugely impressive season.

VIKINGS AWARDS

Player of the Year - Mo Bangura

Vikings Player of the Year - James Owen/Owyn Thatcher

BEARS AWARD

Player of the Year - Chris Darke

COLTS

Winners National Colts Under 17 RFU Shield

COLTS AWARDS

Player of the Year - Alex O'Brien

Coaches Player of the Year - Ed Houghton

WOMEN'S AWARDS

Although it was a difficult first of half of the season for the Women, they turned things around brilliantly towards the end of the season and look forward to the 2017/18 campaign with renewed confidence.

Player of the Year - Anne Wheeler

Coaches Player of the Year - Yasmin Matthews

Women’s Player of the Year - Amy Nash

SPECIAL AWARDS

DANNY BATTY

‘For outstanding contribution to Henley Rugby’

JIM HADFIELD

200 1st XV games

HENLEY RUGBY CLUB

Combined Services Shirt Framed

From RAF RFC

The first club to field four players from the same club in a Combined Services XV (v Bath April 2017)

Rob Bell, Brad Cook, Dave Manning, Stuart Philpott

Henley RFC AGM

Henley Rugby Club held it's AGM yesterday evening in which the management committee presented a review of the past year. The presentation will be circulated to all members in due course, but everyone associated with the Club would like to thank those who were able to attend.

It was a poignant evening as the Club also said farewell to Chairman, Mike Trethewey, who has been in the post for 4 years. A great servant to the Club, Mike will be fondly remembered for his fundraising abilities. He has also overseen the building of the new Clubhouse and has been instrumental in helping to raise the money for Phase 2 of the Dry Leas redevelopment, building the new changing facilities which are due to start next week.

Chris Nixon, previously Facilities Director, was unanimously voted in as the new Chairman and we all wish him the best in his new position.

There were also a couple of awards presented last night, firstly Mike Trethewey was presented with the Hedley Roberts Cup, an award for his tireless services to the Club. The second award of the evening, Clubman of the year, was presented to Chris Parrott, Team Manager of the Vikings, for his dedication and hard work in developing a side that won 17 of 18 matches on their way to being crowned BBO League 2 Champions. Congratulations to both Mike and Chris for everything you've done!

Mike Trethewey being presented with his leaving present from new Chairman, Chris Nixon

Mike Trethewey being presented with his leaving present from new Chairman, Chris Nixon

Chris Parrott - Team Manager of the Henley Vikings being presented with Clubman of the Year from Mike Trethewey

Chris Parrott - Team Manager of the Henley Vikings being presented with Clubman of the Year from Mike Trethewey

Henley RFC launch Player Reach Out Programme

Henley Rugby Club have launched a Player Reach Out Programme (PROP) to encourage more school children to take up rugby.

In primary schools, Henley Rugby Club have part funded Chris Ellison from Performance Sports to offer two sessions a week for 12 weeks for children in Years 1 and 2 from September 2017. Already signed up are Trinity, Sacred Heart and Badgemore Schools in Henley. As well as skills development, confidence building and game understanding all the coaching team will introduce the RFU’s core values – TREDS (Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship). Chris said, “The highlight of the scheme will be in week 10 where we aim to host a tag rugby festival at Henley Rugby Football Club and for many children this will be their first taste of competitive tag rugby. This will allow an opportunity for all schools in the Henley area to come together and participate in a tag rugby festival in a fun and enjoyable setting taking advantage of the superb facilities the rugby club has on offer.”

At Gillotts, HRFC are fully funding Tommy Haynes, a first team Hawks player and academy coach to come to the school four times a week to support lessons and help at lunchtime rugby clubs for Years 7 and 8.

Nick Bradbury, who originated the scheme, said “We identified some things we weren’t doing at the club and one of which was we needed to have more involvement with schools locally. We think we have an amazing facility now at Henley Rugby Club and want to make sure that as many children have the opportunity to come down and see it.”

We are focusing on Years 7 & 8 at Gillotts because those are gaps in these age groups we have at the club.  We want to encourage people who may have never tried rugby before.  Luke Harding (Head of Rugby) at Gillotts told us that they have lots of children coming to the lunch time clubs and we thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for Tommy to help him identify students with potential to come and join the club. If we identified 3-5 players every year it would be mean that the all our age groups would be able to put out a team each week.  We also want to look at extending the ‘Friday Nights” matches against Shiplake College too.  Henley Rugby Club is really keen to do this and really make it work and we’d like to thank Gillotts.”

Catharine Darnton, Gillotts Headteacher said, “We really pleased to form this partnership as we recognise that as a relatively small secondary school, we can’t offer everything for all of our students.  We are so incredibly lucky in Henley to have so many other offers around. Whether it is music, drama, sports there are great places to signpost people on.  It makes total sense for us as a school to do as much as we can given our size and resources to foster those links outside as the sky is the limit if the students get themselves out there.

Report and Picture courtesy of Michaela Clarke from The Henley Herald.

www.henleyherald.com

London Irish vs Yorkshire Carnegie - Wednesday, 24th May

London Irish will meet Yorkshire Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship Play-off Final following a 74-25 aggregate victory over Doncaster Knights. The first leg of the contest will take place on the 17th May at Headingly Carnegie Stadium. The second leg will be on Wednesday 24th May 2017 at the Madejski Stadium, 7.45pm kick off.

As an affiliated club and partner of London Irish, Henley RFC members and supporters can purchase discounted tickets at just £5 per adult and £1 per junior ticket by contacting their main ticket office number on 0118 968 1016, quoting ‘LICOM2405’.

Further incentive to go along is that six of our Under 12's, Callum Aiken, Ollie Roullier, Noah Elrington, Noah Cowan, Monty Donald and Max Jelowitz will be taking part on the 24th May as they are selected for the London Irish development tour to Lyon at the end of this month. They will form the guard of honour, feature in the half time match and also appear in the match day programme.

All the information is in the poster below.

 

Henley RFC to host County Championship clash

Bill Beaumont County Championship

Oxfordshire RFU  –v- Essex County RFU

Saturday, 13th May 2017 – 3.00pm at Dry Lea

Following an impressive win over Buckinghamshire RFU on Saturday 6 May by 32 points to 25, Oxfordshire RFU entertain Essex County RFU in Pool Game 2 this Saturday  at Dry Leas. The following Henley players are likely to take the pitch are David Hyde, George Lane, Harry Burn and George Primett.

Admission and Car Parking FREE.

All Welcome.

 

Vultures set for Vets Cup Final

Oxfordshire RFU Vets Cup Final

Henley Vultures –v- Grove Vets

Wednesday 3rd May 2017, Kick-Off 7.30pm

Henley RFC, Dry Leas, Marlow Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2JA.

The Henley Vultures look to retain the Oxfordshire RFU Vets Cup on Wednesday when they take on Grove at Dry Leas.

Admission is free and the action gets underway at 7.30pm. A lot of familiar faces will be taking the field.

Please come down and support the lads, it should be a great evening!

 

Hawks Colts triumph in RFU U17's National Final

The Henley Hawks Colts crowned a memorable season by defeating Bromsgrove at the Worcester Warriors Stadium to win the RFU’s National Under 17 final.

In the course of an enthralling encounter, the opening ten minutes were perhaps the most significant in determining Henley’s ultimate success.

Bromsgrove pounded the Henley line during this period but heroic tackling especially from Morgon Zolkwer & Ivor Langley kept them at bay and, as often happens in rugby, the attacking side began to doubt its methods against such resolute and organised defence.

A moment of indecisiveness by the Bromsgrove inside backs saw Henley fly-half, Jamie Winch, break the line and gain some forty metres up-field.

The Henley support work was highly efficient and they surged into the Bromsgrove ‘22’, where flanker Alex O’Brien was unstoppable as he gathered the ball and charged over for the opening try (5-0).

Bromsgrove came back forcefully and continued to dominate territorially but Henley’s astute scrum-half, Ben Venner, combined well with O’Brien, Henry Heath and number 8, James Rhodes, to probe weak links in the opposing defence and Henley were able to fashion a second foray deep into their opponents’ half.

Good ball was secured and Henley full back, Will Parton, capitalised on some quick off-loading to accelerate through a wavering defence and present a well-timed inside pass.

Callum Brady was on hand to take the ball but he still had work to do before crashing over for Henley’s second try and a 10-0 lead at the interval.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Bromsgrove kicking for position and relying on their catch and drive to create the opening with Henley forced to absorb an immense amount of pressure.

Bromsgrove possessed a formidable pack but yet again Henley’s front-line tight forwards – Henry Macleod, Will Thomsett, Sam Williams and Scott Carey – did not conceded an inch.

Excellent timing between throwers, Hugo Matthews and Tom Grenfell, and jumpers, Ed Houghton and Ivor Langley, enabled Henley to win their share of line-out ball, whilst Bromsgrove used their possession to create their rolling maul that became increasingly effective as the game unfolded.

Bromsgrove scored their first points through a penalty well into the second half (10-3) and then, desperate to set-up the elusive try, they were tempted to try the long pass which had been a useful part of their opponents’ play.

The pass was superbly intercepted by the Henley centre, Rhys Edwards, deep in their own half and moments later he had scored a try under the posts that was converted by Jamie Winch to give Henley a 17-3 lead. 

The try was just reward for a Henley backline – Edwards, Henry Heath, Harry Wray, Callum Brady and Charlie Gibbon – that ran strongly and defended magnificently.

Bromsgrove were not finished, however, and with their rolling maul operating relatively smoothly they were able to score twice in the final few minutes and move within striking distance of the lead (17-13).

In a final tense session with almost six minutes of injury time , Tom Priestley at number 8 was prominent in all phases of the game whilst Will Properjohn and Oscar James were most effective substitutions in providing the necessary energy to combat Bromsgrove’s final onslaught.    

Team:

1. Will Thomsett

2. Hugo Matthews (Sub 16. Tom Grenfell 40mins)

3. Henry MacLeod (Sub 17. Scott Carey 40mins)

4. Ed Houghton

5. Morgan Zolkwer (Sub 18. Sam Williams 50 mins)

6. Ivor Langley (Sub 22. Oscar James 55mins)

7. Alex O’Brien

8. James Rhodes (Sub 19. Tom Priestley 40mins)

9.  Ben Venner(Sub 21. Charlie Gibbon 55mins)

10. Jamie Winch

11. Harry Wray

12. Rhys Edwards

13. Henry Heath

14. Callum Brady (Sub  20. Will Properjohn 55 mins)

15. Will Parton   

RFU Man of the Match: James Rhodes

Game Commentary Pundits Man of the Match: Jamie Winch

Coaches Man of the Match: Was the whole 22 squad & their huge defensive effort, but special mention in most likely his last game for Henley is Alex O’Brien  

 

Hawks sign off season in style

Henley Hawks 32 Redruth 26

 

Henley

Tries:  Parton 1, 42, Hyde 29, Awcock 68

Conversions: O’Neill 12, Butler 29, 42,

Penalties: Butler 12, 34

 

Redruth

Tries: Buzza 40, Penalty 61, Nonu 66, Brown 75

Conversions: Rule 40, 61, 75

Attendance: 430

Referee: Ieuan Davies

Half-time: Henley 20 Redruth 7

 

By Nick Pitson

Henley Hawks finished off their National 2 (South) campaign on a positive note with another bonus point win, this time against Cornish side, Redruth.

Leading 27-7 just after half time, it looked like the Hawks would win at a canter as Redruth struggled to cope with the home sides’ intensity and speed of attack.

However, a combination of Henley’s ill discipline and Redruth starting to use their powerful forwards to dominate proceedings in the second half, almost proved costly for the Hawks but they eventually beat off the Cornishmen's challenge as both sides eventually scored four tries each.

Once again, the Hawks came storming out of the blocks and with many supporters still in the clubhouse, full back Tom Parton spotted a gap and outpaced the defence to score in the first minute of the game. Liam O’Neill converted.

Henley tried to play an expansive game at every opportunity and Redruth struggled to live with the speed and intensity of the Hawks play. Centres Liam O’Neill and Alan Awcock looked dangerous whenever they got the ball and class act Tom Parton showed why he has been involved with the England U20 squad. The forwards were used to good effect at close range with Dave Manning and Dave Clements to the fore. After another series of Henley attacks, Joe Butler extended the Hawks lead with a penalty.

Whenever Redruth had possession, they were under immense pressure and after a great turnover from Tom Hall, Liam O’Neill made a fine break but Alan Awcock just couldn't hang onto the final pass which would have resulted in another Hawks try.

After another good break from O’Neill, Dave Hyde broke through the Redruth defence to score under the posts, Butler converting.

A further penalty from Butler gave the Hawks a 20-0 lead just before Henley 2nd Row Jake Albion was given a yellow card for stopping a Redruth attack in front of his own posts. After a siege of the Henley line, Shaun Buzza eventually burrowed over for Redruth’s first try which full back Roger Rule converted to leave the score at 20-7 at the break

Tom Parton scored his second try of the game straight after the restart, again a classy move by outpacing the defence after scything through a gap in the Redruth defence. Butler converted. At 27-7, it looked like an easy afternoon for the Hawks.

Far from it. Redruth then began to use their larger forwards to good effect with a number of powerful driving mauls. Number 8 Kyle Marriott was at the centre of his sides dominance and there was also a good impact from the bench.

The driving maul became a real weapon for the visitors and they scored three tries during the second half using that ploy. Redruth were awarded a penalty try as the Hawks tried illegally to stop a drive launched from 40m out. Rule converted.

The Hawks looked ragged, were unable to keep the ball away from the visitors pack and began to give away a succession of penalties as the momentum began to swing in the visitors favour. Redruth employed the same tactic again shortly afterwards, this time the driving maul finished by Palepoi Nonu.

It looked as if The Cornishmen might complete an unlikely comeback but the Hawks eased their supporters worries and responded quickly with a fine try from Alan Awcock. Sam Portland fielded a loose Redruth clearance and gave the ball to Awcock who used his pace and strength to beat off a number of tacklers to score in the corner from some 40m out.

Back came Redruth, with another driving maul to gain a bonus point of their own. Henley’s Jake Albon was red carded for a second yellow card and the Reds Richard Brown led the Cornishmen’s drive to score. Rule converted.

With visitors within one score of the Hawks, a tense finish was anticipated but an attacking Redruth line out was brilliantly stolen by Henley’s Dave Hyde. The ball was cleared and he referee bought the season to a close.

  1. Jim Hadfield
  2. Tom Emery
  3. Dave Manning
  4. David Clements
  5. Jake Albon
  6. David Hyde
  7. Tom Hall
  8. Marcus Lowe
  9. Harry Burn
  10. Joe Butler
  11. Sam Portland
  12. Liam O Neill
  13. Alan Awcock
  14. Xavier Andre
  15. Tom Parton

Replacements

  1. Brad Cooke (for Hadfield) 31 mins
  2. George Lane ( not used)
  3. Scott White (for Hall) 58 mins
  4. Tom Gardner (for Parton) 61 mins
  5. Simon Perry (not used)

 

Hawks look to end season on a high

Henley Hawks play their final game of the National 2 (South) campaign on Saturday when they entertain old Cornish rivals, Redruth. Kick off at Dry Leas is 3pm.

Redruth have had a more prosperous season than the Hawks, occupying a top five position in the league for most of the season. They have flirted with being promotion challengers but have lost a crucial game here and there.

Not many teams win at ‘The Rec’, Redruth’s home ground, but The Reds surprisingly lost at home to relegation threatened London Irish Wild Geese last week 22-21. The proud Cornishmen always produce good forward packs and will want to put things right to end the season a high. The Hawks can be certain they are in for a stern test on Saturday.

The reverse fixture at Redruth was the Hawks first game of the season back in September when The Cornishmen shaded a close game 23-18. There was twelve minutes of added time in the match with the Hawks camped on the Redruth line but the Reds defended stoutly to hold on for victory.

Since then, Redruth have won 19 of their 29 fixtures and include one of the leagues leading try scorers in their ranks in Alex Ducker.

The Hawks will be keen to add to the resounding victory against struggling Barnstaple last week when they crossed for eight tries.

There is continuity in selection again for the Cornish test with just one change to the starting fifteen that took on Barnstaple. Marcus Lowe replaces Rob Bell in the back row. Lowe will play No.8 while Dave Hyde, who was outstanding against Barnstaple will play at wing forward. Zaina Alexis and Simon Perry are added to the bench.

The Hawks will also want to finish on a high for their faithful supporters who have seen a mixed season. This is a tough league and before Christmas, the Hawks struggled to find any momentum in terms of results and slipped towards the foot of the table. Results since then have improved on the whole and helped to secure a mid table placing. With much of the current squad secured for next season, Hawks supporters can look forward with optimism.

The Hawks line up for the match is:

  1. Jim Hadfield
  2. Tom Emery
  3. Dave Manning
  4. David Clements
  5. Jake Albon
  6. David Hyde
  7. Tom Hall
  8. Marcus Lowe
  9. Harry Burn
  10. Joe Butler
  11. Sam Portland
  12. Liam O Neill
  13. Alan Awcock
  14. Xavier Andre
  15. Tom Parton

Replacements;

16. Brad Cooke

17. Ziana Mountout-Alexis

18. Scott White

19. Tom Gardner

20. Simon Perry

On Sunday, The Henley Hawks Colts will play in the RFU National U17 Final against Bromsgrove. This match is being held at Worcester Warriors home ground, ‘Sixways Stadium’ with the game kicking off at 11am. The Hawks won the Southern final with the last play of the game against Medway and will be up against the Northern Section winners, Bromsgrove.

A supporters coach is leaving the club at 7.30am on Sunday.Please contact the club office if you would like to travel and support the boys.

End of Season Awards Dinner - Saturday, 20th May

Join us in the Clubhouse for our Annual End of Season Awards Dinner on Saturday, 20th May at 7pm.

This will be a fantastic occasion for all of the teams to look back at the 2016/17 season and hand out the numerous awards up for grabs.

The event is open for all supporters and players to attend, tickets cost just £20 per person which includes a two course supper. The dress code is smart casual.

Tickets are available from the Team Captains/Managers or by calling Mary in the Club Office on 01491 635350.

We hope to see you there!

Hawks Colts face Bromsgrove in U17 National Shield Final

Henley Hawks Colts vs Bromsgrove Colts

RFU National U17 Shield Final

Henley Hawks Colts travel to Sixways Stadium, home of Worcester Warriors this Sunday, 30th April to play Bromsgrove Colts in the U17 National Shield Final. Kick-Off is 11:00.

All support is very welcome – free admission.

A coach will depart from Dry Leas at 7.30am and return at 2.30pm with a cost of £10 per person. To book please contact Mary Worsdell on 01491 574499.

Worcester Warriors – Sixways Stadium, Warriors Way, Worcester, WE3 8ZE

Details of Location:

http://www.warriors.co.uk/club/getting_here.php

 

 

Landmark day for Hadfield and Manning

Saturday's game against Barnstaple marked a special day for both props, Jim Hadfield and Dave Manning. Hadfield celebrated his 200th appearance for the Club whilst Manning reached his 100th, a remarkable achievement for both players and the occasion was marked with a fantastic 52-27 victory.

Everyone at the Club would like to congratulate you both for everything you've achieved in a Hawks jersey and here's to the next combined 300 appearances!

Eight Try Hawks blow Barnstaple away

In almost perfect conditions for running rugby, Henley Hawks comfortably saw off struggling Barnstaple at Dry Leas on Saturday with a bonus point victory which saw them score eight tries in the process.

With the men from Devon looking for points to avoid the threat of relegation, it was a good performance from the Hawks, who at times seemed to have found some of form that reminded the supporters of what they are capable of but they will also be a little frustrated that they lost concentration at times and let Barnstaple back into the game and also failed to deal with the referee’s interpretation of the breakdown law.

The Hawks were quick out of the blocks and quickly had the visitors under pressure with their speed and an intent to run the ball at every opportunity.

Tom Emery crossed for an easy try for Hawks after just two minutes, a try which Liam O’Neill converted.

Shortly afterwards, a steering break from his own 22 by Alan Alcock took play into the visitors half. Despite being forced into touch, the Hawks took the line out quickly and transferred the ball through the backs to Sam Portland who crossed in the opposite corner.

Barnstaple were struggling to cope with Henley’s approach and the Hawks scored again when Joe Butler made a weaving break to give Xavier Andre the opportunity to score which he took against a weary looking Barnstaple defence. The only reply from the visitors was a penalty from scrum half Joe Petherbridge.

Henley’s bonus point  try came when some good interplay from Hawks forwards Tom Emery and Jim Hadfield allowed Dave Hyde to break through some poor tackling to score. O’Neill converted to give the Hawks a 24-3 lead.

The Hawks started to have trouble at the breakdown, something that would plague them throughout the game and they gave away numerous penalties in this area which began to stem any momentum.

Having got the long journey from Devon out of their system, and helped by a lack of concentration from the Hawks, Barnstaple then enjoyed their best spell and to their credit scored three quick tries of their own. Another possible attack from the Hawks broke down with a loose pass and the visitors hacked the ball forward and wing Toby Williamson won the race to touchdown in the corner. Petherbridge converted.

The visitors also showed they could run the ball and a good break from centre Jake Murphy, with support from Winston and Hague allowed full back Will Topps to score the first of his two tries. His second came just before the break when he finished off a break from Williamson with an easy run in  through a static Hawks defence. Petherbridge converted to leave the score at 24-22 at half time.

There was all to play for but just after the break, Harry Burn capped a strong performance when he poached a try which O’Neill converted.

The Hawks forwards, looking fitter than their opponents,  started to get a lot more control in the game and they extended their lead when Joe Butler cleverly cut inside and with support from Awcock and Jake Albon, eventually allowed Rob Bell to score a try which O’Neill converted.

The Hawks back row were dominant with Dave Hyde making some powerful drives in an outstanding performance. With Barnstaple now restricted to trying to run out of their own 22, it wasn't long before the Hawks initiated a mistake under the visitors own posts and Marcus Lowe pounced to score. O’Neill converted.

Barnstaple then enjoyed a bit of possession but the Hawks defence was more organised and effective than it had been before the break and there was always the possibility of a break out from the speedy Sam Portland. Eventually the Hawks made their way into the Barnstaple half and scored their eighth try from a driving line out, something the Hawks have made good use of this season, Tom Emery getting the touchdown.

Henley had a further golden chance to add to their tally when Dave Hyde broke clear only for Harry Burn to spill a try scoring pass.

To their credit, Barnstaple never gave up and fully deserved their bonus point for their fourth try scored by Kevin Angel right at the end.

Teams:

Henley Hawks

15 Tom Parton, 14 Sam Portland, 13 Alan Alcock, 12 Liam O’Neill, 11 Xavier Andre, 10 Joe Butler, 9 Harry Burn,

1 James Hadfield, 2 Tom Emery, 3 Dave Manning, 4 Dave Clements, 5 Jake Albon, 6 Tom Hall, 7 Rob Bell, 8 Dave Hyde

Reps:

17 Bradley Cook(for Hadfield) 65 mins

18 Marcus Lowe(for Hall). 49 mins

19 Scott White     (for Bell). 70 mins

20 Tom Gardner   (for O’Neill). 74 mins

24 Stuart Philpott (not used)

Match Report by Nick Pitson

Photos courtesy of Steve Karpa;

www.flickr.com/photos/steve_karpa/albums/72157679748387523

Hawks set for Barnstaple challenge

Barnstaple earned promotion from National League 3 South West to National 2 (South) last season after a tussle with Devonian opposition, Exmouth, and so gained the highest league position in their history. Exmouth won the final match of the season, 38-24 which meant Barnstaple finishing second and a tricky play-off in Kent against Tonbridge Juddians. In what was an epic contest, Barum won 31-30 thanks to a last minute penalty by scrum-half, Jordan Petherbridge with the help of 1,000 travelling supporters! Petherbridge and their vociferous supporters have been important factors in bringing about the finest moment in Barum’s history since they were founded in 1877. 

This season, they continue their influence as the Hawks can vouch for when they lost at Barnstaple, 31-24 on a wet drizzly day in late December. Petherbridge scoring 16 points on that occasion. Evidence of their resilience is shown by pulling off one of the surprises of the season in their last game, defeating sixth placed Cinderford 21-13 at home. The place kicking of Petherbridge was again a deciding factor as he contributed three penalties and a conversion.

However, Barum are one of four teams striving to avoid joining Exmouth in relegation with five points between them. In recent seasons, Barnstaple's defence has been one of their principle qualities. The Hawks, for their part, have scored 59 points in their last two games but their defence has leaked 66. Barum will be strongly motivated to win whilst the Hawks, secure in the league for another season, will be wanting to move above Clifton and Canterbury and finish just one place below local rivals Redingensians Rams.

The team selected for this Saturday’s game is significantly stronger and will form the nucleus of the side available for next season when they have ambitions to finish in one of the higher positions. The pack has now become more settled in it’s composition and will be enhanced by the inclusion of Rob Bell in the back row returning after injury. The backs will feature only one player that played at Barnstaple in December, fly-half Joe Butler, who is now establishing a good partnership at half-back with Harry Burn. They will also benefit with the inclusion of Tom Parton at full back who has been released by London Irish, with whom he is dual registered. Parton was part of the England Under 20’s Grand Slam winning side, having played in all the games in that position.

Saturday will also mark a significant day for Jim Hadfield, who coming out of semi-retirement in October, will be playing his 200th game for the Hawks having previously played at Coventry.

Hawks Team

15.Tom Parton, 14. Sam Portland, 13. Alan Awcock, 12. Liam O’Neill, 11. Xavier Andre, 10. Joe Butler,9. Harry Burn, 1. Jim Hadfield , 2. Stuart Philpott, 3. Dave Manning, 4. Dave Clements (capt,), 5. Jake Albon, 6.TomHall, 7. Rob Bell, 8. David Hyde,

16. Simon Perry, 17. Bradley Cook, 18. Ziana Montout–Alexis, 19. Macus Lowe 20. Scott White/Tom Emery