Canterbury 51 - Henley Hawks 17
Henley Hawks poor form continued when they visited Canterbury. They were outplayed in almost every aspect of the game conceding seven tries to which they countered with three.
Their problems before the game began when they wereheld up by an accident on the M25 on their journey to Canterbury which meant they were a total of 3 ½ hours on the roadand this was compounded by a ham string injury being suffered by wing Xavier Andre in the warm-up before the game started .
After the kick-off it appeared that the Hawks were still on the M25 for they fumbled Canterbury’s kick which was seized upon by scrum-half Ben Smart who ran through an unprepared Hawks defence to touch down for fly-half Ollie Best to convert, part of a total score by him in the match of 22 points, to give his side a 7-0 lead after just one minute.
Worse was to follow as the Hawks immediately conceded a penalty close to the posts to give Canterbury a lead of ten points after just three minutes.
Canterbury continued to control possession and they combined well at pace with secure handling and evasive foot work which the Hawks defence could not contain as they slipped tackles almost at will and this resulted in a second converted try for the lively Smart. They were therefore 17-0 in the lead after just eight minutes.
It was at this juncture that the Hawks commanded the ball for the first time and indeed had the best period of their game. This promised better times for them when full back Tom Parton used his pace to take an attack into the home half for the first time and he drew their defence to make space and to send wing Cameron Ives clear who ran in a try from 40 metres which made the score 17-5.
Throughout the game Canterbury retained possession relentlessly but when they failed to do so Hawks’ No. 8 David Hyde swept up a loose ball to stride away, brushing off a despairing tackle to touch down after a searing run of 40 metres.
After 16 minutes the score stood at 17-12.Game on!?. This was not the script that Canterbury were prepared to follow. They added a further two converted tries in the next 24 minutes before half time . Whereas the Hawks found it difficult to maintain possession being turned over in the tackle, or by inaccurate passing with wide passes being thrown into touch, Canterbury continued to find cohesion in their running and passing at pace which the Hawks defence was not secure enough in the tackle to contain. The departure of flanker Tom Hall with injury as early as 6 minutes into the game did not help in this regard.
Full back Aden Moss took a well timed inside pass to run in a try after 19 minutes and wing Guy Hilton after 27, both of which were converted by Best to make the score 31 -12 at half-time.
Canterbury lock Glynn Edwards suffered a worrying neck injury early in the second half but this did not hamper their over all control of the game. After 57 minutes fly-half Ollie Best, who had organised the effective running of his back division, decided to add to his growing points total by bursting through Hawks 22 to touch down under the posts making the score 38-12 after 58 minutes. They next created room for wing Guy Hilton to run in the second of a hat trick of tries.
The Hawks then came much more into the game and at last began to put pressure on the home defence. With their attempts to break through using their backs apart from decisive running by Simon Perry they switched to trying to cross the Canterbury line by driving mauls but they were also frustrated in these attempts. However they did get their reward when a cross kick to the corner was followed up by their most effective forward No.8 Hyde to touch down to make the score43-17.
However the home side were determine to have the last word with a penalty by Best and on 80 minutes the hat trick score by Hilton who collected Hawks clearance kick over the head of Ives and raced 70 metres to make the final score51-17.
The Hawks have much to ponder about!
Match photos courtesy of Steve Karpa: www.flickr.com/photos/steve_karpa/albums/72157675794393906
15. Tom Parton, 14.Simon Perry, 13.Alan Awcok, 12. Connor Hayhow, 11.Cameron Ives, 10. James Comben ( Tom Gardner 40), 9. George Jackson, 1. James Hadfield( George Primett 40), 2. Tom Emery, 3. Barnaby Abdale-Weir,4. Dave Clements, 5. Charles Davey, 6. Tom Hall(George Lane 6), 7. Connor Morrison ( Scott White 35}, 8. David Hyde