12:30pm Thursday 19th September 2013
OLD Halesonians held their nerve to secure a second National Three Midlands success by beating Shropshire side Newport 34-16.
The foundations for victory were built on a fabulous first half showing when Old Hales ran in three converted tries.
Second row Dan Grant got the vital touch to an early pushover try before skipper and prop Richard Taylor forced his way over for a second.
Pete Clifford then produced an excellent individual score, all three of which were improved upon by the boot of full-back Chris Hooper to put Halesonians 21-0 ahead.
Newport cut the deficit before half-time, thanks to a couple of unconverted tries and a penalty to make the score 21-13.
The second period was a different story as Newport camped themselves deep into Halesonian territory and forced some desperate defending at times.
Team boss Simon Hussey said: “We spent 25 minutes on our own line. It was backs-to-the-wall stuff at times and we only kept them out thanks to some torrid defending.”
Old Hales finally broke free thanks to some drives from Loz Breeze that resulted in a couple of penalties, from which the accurate Hooper made no mistake.
A fourth followed three minutes from time as scrum-half Nathan Jones sent Steve Powell over for an excellent try.
Hooper applied the finishing touches with the conversion, leaving Newport with a last-gasp consolation penalty to complete the scoring.
Halesonians lost centre Andy Robinson with a hamstring injury and he remains a major doubt for this Saturday’s trip to Nuneaton, but player-coach Mark Evans returns following wedding duty.
The seconds beat Dudley Kingswinford 36-19 thanks to tries from Pete Lewis, Dave Wakefield, Andy Holloway (2) and Ben Perks.
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