Powell brace keeps Old Hill on top

OLD Halesonians RFC’s title charge continued with a 52-5 thrashing of Berkswell and Balsall.

A crowd of more than 200, including many former players attending the club’s annual reunion, saw Hales play an open running game which was too much for the visitors.

Early pressure ended with centre Simon Sabell breaking through to score under the posts and the forwards then took over, skipper Rich Taylor and fellow front-rower Pete Fitzgerald both crossed to put the hosts 19-0 up.

Steve Powell added a fourth, before the visitors got off the mark with an unconverted try just before half-time.

Normal service was resumed early in the second half when stand-off Tom Harris scored try number five, which was converted by Chris Hooper who then added a score of his own.

Further tries for Tom Jordan and a second for Powell completed the rout.

Old Hales remain second in the table behind Worcester but have a game in hand. They visit Camp Hill this Saturday.

The seconds also tasted success with a hard-fought 32-20 win away at Bromsgrove.

After the Hales defence had thwarted a number of early attacks, the hosts finally broke the deadlock only for the visitors to hit back almost immediately when a successful lineout catch and drive resulted in Dan Grant scoring in the corner.

Old Hales began to find their rhythm and another catch and drive released Ben Perks to score and put them ahead.

A further try from scrum-half Gregg Smith and a second from Grant put Hales up 20-5 at the break.

But Bromsgrove came out for the second half with all guns blazing and quickly added two well worked tries to cut the lead to five points.

The visitors recovered well and a lovely move by the backs set up Jon Harris to score and restore breathing room.

Both sides then exchanged tries with Perks grabbing his second for Hales as they held out for the win.

The third XV suffered a rare defeat as they fell 29-19 at Kidderminster, while there was also disappointment for the fourths who lost 33-10 to their Kidderminster counterparts.

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