Henley Hawks 66-24 Bournemouth
Henley Hawks made it three from three with an emphatic ten-try triumph over Bournemouth at a sun-drenched Dry Leas on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks got off to the perfect start with a try after just one minute with Ewan Fenley spotting a gap in the visitors defence and running in untouched. Henley were playing with real conviction and intensity, leaving the Lions shell-shocked. It was only a matter of time before the Hawks extended their lead, and a break from the outstanding Fenley fed in Sam Lunnon for the first of a hat-trick of tries for the Hawks captain, just eight minutes later.
Alex Sutherland put the visitors on the scoreboard with a well-taken penalty, but the gap was extended further just before the half hour mark after patient build-up play from the home side saw Lunnon’s off-load picked up by Scotty White to cross the whitewash. Understandably, the baking hot conditions was causing several stoppages in play as both sets of players were in need of regular re-hydration.
Henley continued their domination, and the try bonus point was secured when the ever-present Lunnon crossed over again just four minutes later. With the Hawks now scenting blood, further excellent running from Fenley saw George Wood cap off a fine team try in the corner. Ben Bolster, who was immaculate from the tee, added the extras with another excellent conversion, this time from out on the touchline.
However, the visitors fought back strongly at the end of the half, and scored their first try of the game just before the break with captain Alan Manning burrowing over, leaving it 35-10 to the Hawks at the interval.
Despite making a couple of enforced substitutions during the half time break, Henley started the second period in the same way they started the first. Lunnon and Bradley both making yards in the opposition half, with replacement fly half Elliot McPhun crossing in the corner. The Hawks were now putting together some lovely moves, and substitute hooker Brad Cook went over for a brace of tries, the second being a break from near the half-way line showing real power and pace to go in untouched. Lunnon’s third try ten minutes later cemented the Hawks win, and Number 8, Alex Bradley ran in Henley’s tenth try to cap a fine afternoon for the home side.
Late tries from Gareth Roberts for the Lions made the scoreline a little more respectable for the visitors, but the Hawks will be buoyant heading into their first massive test of the season this coming Saturday, away at Taunton.
Match photos are courtesy of Steve Karpa;
Saturday was also the third annual Beer Festival held at the Club. It was an incredible day, and great to see so many people come down and support the event. A huge thanks to Mike Crook and his team who worked tirelessly to ensure the day was a success.
Tries: Fenley 1, Lunnon 9, 27, 61 White 23, Wood 35, McPhun 41, Cook 48, 51, Bradley 63
Conversions: Bolster 2, 10, 24, 28, 36, Burrage 42, 49, 52
Tries: Manning 39, Roberts 57, 75
Conversions: Sutherland 40, 58, 76
Penalties: Sutherland 14
Referee: Ben Wilde
Half-time: Henley 35-10 Bournemouth
Star man: Sam Lunnon
HENLEY: O’Neill, Robinson, Griffiths, Burrage, Wood, Bolster (McPhun 40), Fenley, Primett, Emery (Cook 44), Hughes (Deacon 52, Albon, Hyde, Lunnon, White (Hall 44), Bradley
Replacements: Cook, Deacon, Hall, Hinton, McPhun
BOURNEMOUTH: Sutherland, Jeffes (Roberts 42), Everett-Bolter, Snell, Meaden, Pope (Boyd 47), Driscoll, Davies (Spiller 26), Manning, Cotterell (Firetto 5), Knott, Leadbeater (Griffiths 40), Bennett, Russell, Roberts
Replacements: Spiller, Firetto, Griffiths, Boyd, Roberts