The curtain comes down on the 2022-23 campaign for Henley Hawks on Saturday as they travel to Suffolk for their last game of the season to take on Bury St Edmunds. Kick off at Bury’s Haberden ground is 3pm.
As well as it being the end of the season, it will also the end of an era for the club with the retirement of Nigel Dudding, the Hawks Director of Rugby. Nigel has been involved with the club for over 50 years and the players will want give him a good win to go out on.
It promises to be an exciting game this week as both teams will want to finish above the other. Henley are fifth, just one point ahead of Bury who are sixth, so a final fifth place finish is at stake. There is a possibility that either side could finish fourth if Worthing should slip up against Barnes.
The Hawks are going for their sixth successive victory so they certainly have momentum and should go to Suffolk with plenty of confidence. The side continue to play with plenty of effort and commitment and head coach Luke Allen was pleased with the win but conscious of the need to work on the scrums and line out which didn’t work particularly well last week. “The first half wasn’t great and the set piece didn’t function and the boys knew that but to get a win like in the last home game of the season for Nigel and Jonesy was a great effort. In the second half we built confidence and with Max’s kicking managed to pull away”.
Bury St Edmunds are a strong, well organised side capable of beating anyone on their day. They were impressive on their visit to Dry Leas back in September in the first game of the season winning the game 24-19. They have won seventeen of their twenty five games so far this season but of the sides above them, they have only managed to beat the Hawks and Dorking. Last week, they travelled to the Channel Islands and came away with an excellent 35-19 victory. The two games between the Hawks and Bury last season were very close affairs with the Hawks winning 25-24 at Dry Leas and the game ended in a draw in Suffolk, 25-25.
Also playing on Saturday are the Henley Bulls (2nd XV) who have a home game against local rivals Chinnor 2nd. Kick off at Dry Leas is 3pm.
On Sunday, two of the clubs junior sides compete in the final of their respective age group county cup competitions. The U14 play their Oxfordshire county final against Chinnor at 11.30am while the U15 take on Banbury in their final at 2.30pm. Both games are being played at Oxford RFC and all supporters are welcome.
George Wood, Louis Flynn, Adam Hakimian, Max Titchener, Seb Scott, Cail Cookland, Ewan Fenley,
Rory Mason, Morgan Macrae, Ollie Frostick, Omar Ellaboudy, Ben Harrison, Marcus Lowe, Sam Lunnon, Tom Vooght.
Reps: Kareem Niazi, Dave Manning, Alex Bradley, Will Crow, Ryan Crowley, Scott White