This eagerly awaited derby game, the first between the two clubs since the nineties attracted a good crowd of supporters. They enjoyed a keenly contested game with the first half much in favour of the home club who led 17-10 at the interval. As has been evident in each of the three games that the Hawks had played to date they finished the stronger side.
However the place kicking by the Hawks’ scrum-half George Jackson was the deciding factor. His accuracy from a range of just over 35 metres was such that he succeeded with four penalties and two conversions giving him a match total of 16 points.
It can be said that the Redingensians had the bragging rights as far as try scoring was concerned as they scored three to the Hawks two.
The Hawks seeking their first victory of the season started the game very brightly moving the ball withaccurate handling movements. However they were not able to make line breaks as the home defence tackled soundly. Having advanced to the home 25 and putting the Redingensians backs under pressure a clearance kick was charged down in front of their posts and flanker George Lanefollowed up to touch down which with Jackson’s conversion put the Hawks ahead 7-0.
This lead was short livedas the home side immediately took play deep into the Hawks half where they were awarded a penalty which fly-half Jacob Atkins kicked from in front of the posts. Although the Hawks had an opportunity to increase their lead when they made a rare break in the centre they ignored a scoring pass o the wing.
The OR’s then had spell in which they pinned theHawks in their own territory Their set scrums were under pressure and when theHawks attempted clearance by kickingto half way and beyond the Reds ran the ball back at themstretching their defence. The Hawks also put themselves under pressure by over throwing at the lineouts.
This eventually resulted in the OR’s scoring two tries – first of all through wing Sean Macdermottroe makingscore 10-7 and then after 20minutes ,froma driving maul by lock Phil Hoy 17-7.
As half-time approached the Hawks began to get into the home sides territory and in the moment of the half Jackson kicked his first penalty to make the score 17-7.
From the start of the second half the Hawks were a rejuvenated team .Throughout the half they kept the new momentum going by using their replacements. The first reward was 10 minutes into the half when they drove for a try touched down by Tom Gardner which, with the conversion, levelled the score to 17-17 only to have this countered in thenext minute when a clearance kick bounced on the point of theball whilst full back anticipated a straight forward catch for OR’s full back Jak Rossiter chasing hard to catch it on the Hawks 22 to touch down unmolested. Fortunately this was not converted.
The last 20 minutes of the game was virtually spent entirely in the Redingensians half with Hawks pack led in particular by Tom Hall got the measure of a tiring home side with turnovers keeping them on the back foot and the inevitable penalty offences which were meat and drink to Jackson who slotted home threekicks at regular intervals.
By this means the Hawks secured their first victory in three games.
MoM: Tom Hall