11:40am Thursday 23rd January 2014
OLD Halesonians avenged an earlier home defeat to Sandbach when they travelled to Cheshire and clinched a convincing 37-10 success.
The result keeps Hales well and truly in the thick of National League 3 Midlands promotion race.
Hales were forced to make a number of chances, Greg Smith coming in at scrum-half for the injured Nathan Jones, while Dan Young and Jake Hayden-Wright were added to the pack.
Early pressure soon paid off, with Tom Jordan powering his way through for a try, which full back Chris Hooper converted.
Sandbach responded with a penalty, but there was no stopping Hales at this point as first Hayden-Wright and then Dan Young crossed for tries, both of which were improved upon by the accurate boot of Hooper, who then landed a couple of penalties for good measure to put Hales out of sight at half-time with a lead of 27-3.
Hales brought on Cliff Tomkinson and Jack Duffy for the second half and soon secured the bonus point and fourth try, with hooker Pete Fitzgerald producing one of his trademark tries after breaking off from the base of a ruck to plough his way through the covering defence to score.
Hales took their foot off the accelerator for a while, allowing Sandbach back into the game, from which they secured a well-worked converted try.
But it was Hales who deservedly had the final say when winger and leading try-scorer Luke Smith broke through Sandbach’s fragile defence to score.
The result keeps Hales fourth in National League 3 Midlands and among the promotion contenders.
Hales will look to sustain their title charge this week when they entertain Scunthorpe at Wassell Grove (2-15pm kick-off) when they will be hoping for as much support as possible to shout them on The Second XV game was called off this week, while the Thirds lost out 31-7 at Dudley Kingswinford.
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