Old Elthamians 39 pts Henley Hawks 20 pts
This game was played in cold wintry conditions on a big open sports field with a firm surface which cut up to an extent as the game wore on. The home side was a well organised one with a defined game plan which was indicative of their high position in the Division 2 (South) league table’
O. E’s opened the game confidently and were two tries up in the first ten minutes thanks to tries by hooker Jay Rudland -Thomas and centre James Colledge. Former Hawks fly-half Will Robinson however had not brought his kicking boots with him so that the lead of ten points was not improved upon by conversions. Indeed the Hawks immediately got in the game with a try after just nine minutes.
This was the result of the Hawks best move of the game. This came from a handling move between full back Joe Butler amd wing Connor Hay How very similar to that whch created the try the previous week against Cinderford . Unfortunately George Jackson missed the conversion so the score stood at 10-5.
Within ten minutes or so the Home side doubled their lead with tries by wing Dominic Lespierre and a second by Colledge who took advantage of poor Hawks tackling, which was also subject to a major injury to Hawks’ No. 10 James Coben ,who, after examination was taken by stretcher to hospital with a neck injury ! However the poor kicking display continued with both conversions being sent wide so the score stood at 20-5 after 23 minutes.
Recovering from this interruption the Hawks then put in some effective driving play with skipper Dave Clements combining well with prop Dave Manning who touched down a cleverly conceived try . Jackson ,like his counterparts , could not improve this score which stood at 20-13 just short of half-time as Jackson did convert a penalty on the half-time whistle to leave the Hawks seven points adrift, after 40 minutes.
However the absence of Comben did not help the Hawks’ efforts to stay in the game and fullback Tom White was able to finish an attack to make the score 25-13 after 49 minutes. The Hawks were handicapped further when Rob Bell collected a yellow card for a technical offence. This was after 59 minutes and was the prelude to replacement hooker Nathan Morris, just released from London Welsh to O.E’s, scoring two tries, one of which was converted by Robinson, his first success of the afternoon.
However the Hawks had the distinction of finishing the scoring in tha game when Jackson registered the last try with an individual effort after 73 minutes which he converted to make the final score 39-20.
15.Joe Butler, ( James Steventon-Wright 40) 14. Connor Hay How 13. Xavier Andre ( Jim Hadfield 67) , 12. Liam O’Neill, 11. Simon Perry, 10.James Comben ( Tom Emery22), 9. George Jackson, 1. David Manning, 2. Stuart Philpott (Sam Portland 47), 3.Ziana Montout- Alexis 4. David Hyde, 5. Jake Albon, 6. Dave Clements, 7.RobBell 8. Marcus Lowe