Blues come out on top in inter-squad contest

HENLEY HAWKS GOLDS  14-18  HENLEY HAWKS BLUES     

By Nick Pitson

An excellent workout for the whole Henley Hawks squad took place in the form of a training game at Dry Leas on Tuesday evening.

It was a good chance for the coaches to cast their eyes over the current squad and start to make decisions for the first game at home to Sutton and Epsom on September 7th.

The game was expertly refereed by former Hawks player and premiership referee Dean Richards. Early on, he showed the Hawks the importance of discipline towards the officials and reduced the Golds to 14 players as they were penalised more than once and given a yellow card for arguing back.

This allowed the Blues to gain some control early on with Scrum half Ewan Fenley looking assured and prop Henry Penrose prominent in the loose with some good drives.

Despite defending for long periods, the Gold scrum was dominant all evening whereas the lineout was evenly contested with neither side able to secure their own throw in regularly.

Alex Bradley and Tom Hall were outstanding as the Blues forwards dominated the loose play and drove over for the opening try following an attacking line out.

Ewan Fenley then linked beautifully with Tom Hall who made a great break deep into the Gold’s half. Some good touches from Samir Kharbouch and again by Penrose allowed the Blues to attack the Gold line once again. Tom Hall went close and an inevitable penalty was awarded and Liam On’Neill extended the Blues lead to 8-0.

After twenty minutes, new back row forward Will Bordill took a knock to the head and played no further part in the proceedings.

The Blues continued to show well with Liam O’Neill looking lively and Ewan Fenley providing an excellent service to his backs from scrum half.  Alex Bradley then broke from a scrum and was well supported by the impressive Jake Lovatt to set up another Blues attack. A good dart from Fenley then allowed Lovatt to cross for a try and increase the Blues lead. Liam O’Neill converted.

Once the Golds returned to fifteen players, they began to get parity in the loose play with Dave Hyde and Liam Goodison staring to dominate. The Gold scrum was particularly strong through out the match and following an attack involving Dave Hyde and Tom Emery, scrum half Elliot McPhun crossed for the Golds first try.Alex. Burrage converted.

The Golds then took the lead just before half time when another drive from Hyde allowed Archie Van Dyke to show his speed and cut through the defence for a try. Burrage again converted.

The second period saw a number of changes for both sides, as the whole squad was used.

The Blues again dominated the loose play and the came close when Alex Bradley broke again and he was well supported by George Penrose and Samir Kharbouch.

Jake Albon then stole a line out for the Blues as they pushed deep into the Gold’s 22. Good work from Paolo Peschesolido gave Jake Lovatt a chance to cap a good performance and he broke some tired tackling to score.

The Blues ran out 18-14 winners although the scoreline was not the most important aspect of the game.

The match itself was played with full commitment, with no quarter given by either side. Fitness levels looked good overall, and there were some excellent passages of play by both sides. As it is pre-season, unsurprisingly, some of the handling was not as fluent as it could have been, something that can be worked on in the coming weeks as the squad becomes more settled.

Match photos courtesy of Steve Karpa;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_karpa/albums/72157710584343517

BLUES

Liam O’Neill, Ryan Scott-Young, Jack Robinson, Samir Kharbouch, Tom Durrant, Ollie Quinn, Ewan Fenley, Alex Bradley, Tom Hall, Jack Lovatt, Angus Hinton,

Jake Albon, Henry Penrose, Andrew Stobbs, Brad Cook

Paolo Peschesolido, Guy Rawstone, Rhys Edwards, Zak Clarke, Vlad Dumbrava, Rory Mason

GOLDS

Archie Van Dijk, Matt Mann, George Wood, Alex Burrage, Loike Bazzi, Charlie Wicks, Elliot McPhun, Liam Goodison, Scott White, Will Bordill, Dave Hyde,

Henry Day, Elliot Deacon, Tom Emery, George Primett

Connor Segre, George Probyn, Taino Wagstaff, Toby Warburton, Harry Jackson, Charlie Dominy