Hallamshire win first home game of 2019
By Llywelyn Lee
Hallamshire Vs. Thornesians
Hallamshire welcomed Thornesians to Bole Hill after a month on the road and inclement weather had kept them away from home. Illness forced late changes with Majkowski being promoted from the bench to replace Captain Cramphorn who passed the armband to century points chasing fly half Coombes. Strong winds and low sun meant conditions were difficult for both teams.
The game kicked off and Hallamshire lost possession to Thornesians in an early ruck. The visitors battered away at Hallamshire’s defence but came up against tackle after tackle, with scrum half Hitchcock seemingly on a mission to tackle every member of the opposition. When the hosts did regain possession strong runs from Hasnip and D. Riley furthered Hallamshire’s cause before a knock on relinquished possession again. Eventually Hallamshire managed to work there way into Thornesians 22 where they conceded a penalty allowing Hopkinson to power through the visitors defence and dot down under the posts to take Hallamshire 7 – 0 up with Coombes slotting the conversion and bringing his personal points tally for the season to the 100 mark.
Thornesians were quick to respond and a series of rucks on the Hallamshire line resulted in level scores 7-7. The visitors opted to play the physical game and a boot to the chest of Macgregor saw an early change in the pack with Lee making the first sub on. Hallamshire started to probe more with strong runs from Hitchcock. Hopkinson and Hasnip testing Thornesians defence. Centre D. Riley using his pace to advance the hosts cause led Hallamshire to strong field position and some quick ruck ball and movement across the field saw Hitchcock battle his way over to score putting the hosts 12-7 ahead at half time with the wind proving too unsettled for the conversion.
Half time brought changes and reversals with Tom Wallis
hooking and Shipley moving out to prop. Hallamshire stalwart Dan Hickey
joined the pack and made an immediate impact to the game. Ripping ball in the tackle and dispossessing Thorne at every opportunity. This pattern of play eventually led to Hickey plucking the ball from the floor after a lineout and powering through several defenders to score, Hallamshire 17-7 ahead at the start of the second half.
This set the pattern of play for the second half with Hallamshire playing the attacking rugby while tackling in defence like men possessed. After some well worked rucks Duddridge flew up into the back line and put on a burst of speed to slice through the defence and score: 22-7 the scoreline and change at scrum half with Hitchcock making way for Adam Riley
. Hallamshire shifted gear again and were now well in their stride. Attacks were many and varied from all areas with Hickey and Hopkinson smashing holes in the defence and sniping runs from A. Riley and Lampard pushing Thornesians to their limit. In a brief period of possession came the sack of the day as Thornesian’s winger thought he was running into open space before a bone crunching tackle from centre Hasnip dispossessed him and gave Hallamshire the platform to set up an attack.
The final quarter saw Hallamshire rampant in attack, Max Lampard
, wing forward on the wing powering over in the corner to take the score to 27-7. More changes introduced the smiling Fijian Jmiz Mc to the fray who immediately took the initiative running a strong line straight into the opposition 22 plucking the ball almost from the Fly half’s hands. The resulting phases eventually saw A. Riley cut and twist his way through to score 32-7. With the game dying down and Thornesians heads now playing for pride Hallamshire had one last roll of the dice and Majkowski took the ball on the opposition 10m and charged through to score in the 80th minute, Coombes made the conversion and the game finished 39-7. A game well played by the red and black, with the entire team putting in an 80 minute performance.