OLD Hales picked up a confidence boosting success over rivals Dudley Kingswinford in the North Mids Plate.

Youthful Hales regrouped from recent league defeats to bag a 31-24 win at Heathbrook last Thursday night.

Both teams are having contrasting seasons; DK flying high in their respective league and Old Hales languishing at the foot of the table in theirs.

So the scene was set with DK keen to add to Old Hales' woes putting one over their local rivals from the league above, Hales looking for relief from the toils of league fixtures.

Both sides worked hard to gain a territorial advantage early on.

Hales 10 Matt Williams was on good form spotting space around DK's back three and kicking well to the corners. DK were beginning to feel the pressure both at lineouts and the scrum where Hales had the upper hand.

Hales broke the deadlock with a score from Jamie Keen before DK crossed the ref once too often and a yellow card was awarded. Hales were now in the ascendancy and taking advantage of their numerical advantage.

Dan Smith scored and an easy conversion for Jamie Keen followed to make it 12-0.

The home side were keen to show they were up for the challenge and gave the home fans something to cheer when scoring in the corner.

However, two tries followed for Hales by Andrew Holloway and Kieran Haynes, converted by Jamie Keen, to give the visitors a 26 - 5 half time advantage.

Hales started the stronger again with Kieran Haynes scoring his second try of the night. Hales were now 31-5 to the good after Keen was unable to convert.

DK were not for rolling over, though, and were determined to make a fight of the game.

Tries were now coming for the home side and the score line was getting closer.

With the score at 31 - 15 the Hales full back opted to kick the ball away delaying DK the option to take a quick score. The referee took a dim view of this and awarded a penalty restart in favour of DK after the conversion had been made.

The penalty count was now increasing against the Hales side, the referee going for his pocket as Williams saw yellow.

The ten minutes saw DK score again with the conversion following and it was all to play for with the scoreline at 31-24 to the visitors.

Full time was fast approaching and into the final five minutes it was going to be a nail biting end. Hales were again deemed to have given away too many penalties in their own 22 and another yellow meant they would play the remainder of the match with 14 men.

DK pushed hard but the Hales defence stood resolute to secure a memorable win.

Hales will now face Hereford in the semi final.

They resume league action with the visit of Birmingham and Solihull to Wassell Grove this Saturday (2.15pm kick-off).