Hinckley 27-29 Henley Hawks
Henley produced a mixed performance to secure a bonus point win against a dogged Hinckley side who looked well beaten with 20 minutes to go. However, they could have taken the honours had a last gasp penalty attempt not been pushed wide.
Henley got off to the best possible start when a penalty won was kicked well into the corner by Matt Dalrymple. The resultant lineout was driven over by a trademark maul for stand in hooker Brad Cook to touch down and Cail Cookland to kick the conversion.
Hinckley were quick to respond and reduced the arrears with a well struck penalty from 35 metres. The visitors were quick into their stride again when a well won penalty was tipped on by skipper Jake Albon for Will Crow to run a great line scoring just outside the post from 30 metres, once again Cail Cookland was successful with the conversion.
Henley were enjoying the lions share of the possession, particularly at the lineout where they were able to pressure the opposition and cause havoc for their jumpers. In addition, Sam Lunnon and Jake Albon were able to take some clean ball off the opposition’s throw. This allowed Henley to dictate play and create some promising attacking positions. From a well worked set piece the ball was moved to Reuben Norville who showed a clean pair of heels by stepping the opposition and running hard from 40 metres to score a wonderful try right on the stroke of half time. Unfortunately, the conversion was unsuccessful.
It then looked like the game was effectively over after eight minutes of the second half. Henley were awarded a penalty try when the ball was worked well wide only for a Hinckley player to deliberately knock the ball forward. This resulted in a yellow card and a lead of 26 points to 6 to the visitors. At this point Henley needed to push on and put the game out of sight. However, a complete turnaround occurred as the visitors came hard back into the game assisted by some errors from what had been a dominant Henley team up until this point.
Three quick tries were scored in a matter of 20 minutes as Henley appeared to freeze and stop playing with the confidence of the first half. Fortunately, amongst the mayhem Cail Cookland was able to secure an important penalty. All of a sudden it was down to a two-point ball game.
With the last play of the game Henley’s defence was superb to hold out a determined set of close quarter drives from the Hinckley eight. However, a penalty was awarded which was the final play and fortunately the kick was pushed wide, much to the relief of the Henley players and supporters.
Whilst it was pleasing to return with 5 points in the bag, there will be plenty for the team to work on this week in preparation for Redruth’s visit to Dry Leas this Saturday.
Henley: Cookland, Norville, Davies, Amphlett, Harmes, Dalrymple, Crow, Hughes, Cook, Frostick, Harrison, Albon (capt), Lunnon, Hall, Bradley
Replacements: Inoke, Probyn, Lowe, Lewis, Scott- Young
By Nigel Dudding
Picture courtesy of Gary Evans