Hales give league leaders run for their money
Broadstreet 33 Old Halesonians 24
Hales travelled to top of the league Broadstreet with many changes in the line up. Four members of this seasons brilliant Colts side represented the first team today and all stepped up to the mark.
Jack Manison at second row and Harrison Plumb as flanker were well up for the challenge. Jamie Keen started at 9 and Josh Woodward on the bench as replacement forward.
There was a long awaited welcome back for Steve Powell following a serious knee injury in a training incident before the start of the season, he was also on the bench.
The visitors were relaxed but confident against a well structured home side.
After only 5 minutes Street released their backs for an early unconverted try, maybe a sign of things to come 5 - 0. Hales fought back with some strong scrummaging by front row Matt Young, Sam Jones and Matt Probert.
Keen at 9 was lively and kept the visitors on the front foot.
The home side were strong outside the pack always testing the Hales backline controlled by Carl Robinson and Skipper Steve Leach playing in the centres. Broadstreet were in dominant mood and scored 3 tries in quick succession to lead 26 - 0.
Hales were well under pressure but tackled everything in an effort to regroup. Talisman Neil Mason received a yellow card followed by Ian Briggs to leave the visitors under the cosh with 13 men. They fought back with some great running by Chris Hooper, Robinson and Joe Collingham on the back row who always looked dangerous.
The Hales pack again dominated with Keen and Hooper feeding the backs. Three phases resulted in prop Probert collecting the ball out wide, he skipped inside for a great try, converted by Hooper to pull the score back to 26 - 5.
From the restart Hales again took the initiative with Mason and Briggs back on the field. Manison had to leave with a shoulder injury, replaced by his fellow Colt Woodward. The visitors took the game to Street with a dominant passage of play resulting in a try for Mason 26 - 10 at half time.
The second half saw Keen replaced by Powell due to a recurring ankle injury, Powell slotted in well and Hales were well up for this challenge. Former skipper Rich Taylor came in as tight head for Young with Probert moving to loose, the Hales pack were dominant.
The second half was all Hales as they worked their way back into the game with Mason, Collingham, Leach, Robinson and Plumb dominant going forward. Pressure in the home 22 forced a penalty due to the pressure of the Hales pack. Mason took a quick penalty, took on all the opposition pack for a great individual try, converted by Briggs 26 - 17.
Hales were well into this fight back and with Young back on for Probert, the scrummage went from strength to strength. The home side came back, their backs always dangerous and slipped through for a converted try to lead 33 - 17.
Hales would not give up and again camped in the home 22 by scrum after scrum taking toll on the home side. A scrum win by Jones, Powell fed Hooper to Collingham who beat his man for a converted try 33 - 24 with 5 minutes to go.
Broadstreet were in shock as Hales took them on in all areas but despite some courageous play could not change the final score. Hales meet Derby at home this Saturday on Presidents' Day, kick off 3 pm for a must win penultimate league fixture.