Longton 22 Old Halesonians 10

HALESONIANS travelled to Staffordshire hoping for a second win given the Longton result at Nuneaton the previous week.

However, a confident Hales team were quickly put in their place by a more streetwise, aggressive display.

Early Hales pressure came to nothing.

Longton won a lineout 15 metres from the Hales line. They maintained possession in a driving maul to score their first converted try to lead 7-0.

The visitors tried to put phases together but neither forwards or backs were able to break the home defence, Longton continued to be first to the breakdown in numbers and secured a large percentage of possession.

Hales tried to break their defence with full back Chris Hooper doing his best to turn things round.

A couple of phases moving up field saw scrum half Nathan Jones set up a back move with wing Luke Smith sprinting for the line only to lose the ball in the touchdown area. Hales were soon again under pressure and a conversion led to 14-0 lead at half time.

Then two yellow cards for Hales (Field and Evans) did not help the cause.

A penalty by Longton took the score to 17-0.

Late into the game Hales got some forward momentum and set up a forward drive on 77 mins for second row Guy Field to touch down, converted by Hooper 17-7.

More late pressure by Hales forced a penalty, which Hooper converted to give the visitors hope in the closing minutes 17-10. But Longton again came back.

The final flourish was a pass out wide to the winger who stepped round his opposite man to score in the corner.

A dubious touch decision but the try was awarded for the home side to win 22- 10.

Team manager Simon Hussey said after the game, “We came here expecting to win, but to do that all players need to be fit, committed and stick to the game plan that we practice in the week.

"We were just not good enough.”