OLD Halesonians RFC maintained their fine form with a closely-contested 27-25 win at Burton.

The victory was inspired by a return to form for winger Luke Smith and brothers Carl and Andy Robinson in the centre and kept Hales in touch with the Midlands One West top two.

Burton were relegated from the league above last term so a tough game was expected and it began in an open and flowing style, with Hales taking the lead inside three minutes when Simon Sable touched down in the corner following neat work from Andy Robinson.

The hosts responded almost straight away with a penalty and then took the lead approaching the 20 minute mark when Dave Archer went over for a well worked try but he failed to convert, leaving Old Hales trailing 8-7.

Old Hales had chances to redress the balance but could not breach the home defence and following a gathered kick Burton broke from their own half, for an unconverted try for centre Lewis Brookes.

Hooper brought Hales back to within three and just before the break they lead 17-13 as Robinson, this time Carl, broke clear to score.

Both sides exchanged tries at the start of the second period as the frenetic pace continued. Brooks got his second for the hosts before Luke Smith was put away in the corner as Hales went up 22-18.

Then came the decisive score as Smith collected from a maul to race away for his second try and give the visitors a nine point cushion.

But the hosts were by no means done and threw caution to the wind. Their attacking play was then rewarded with a further converted try which came a little too late to change the result.

Captain Rich Taylor stated “We are happy with another good performance and bonus point away win which keeps us third and in touch with the top two.

“Special mentions should go to the backline for their stand out performances.”

On Saturday Old Hales are at home to newly promoted Dunlop (kick-off 2.15pm).