HENLEY HAWKS 3 PLYMOUTH ALBION 36
PLYMOUTH Albion turned on the style in the first half against Henley Hawks on Saturday to secure their third consecutive bonus-point win.
Graham Dawe’s side scored five tries in the opening 40 minutes, with four coming within the first 16 minutes.
Henley just had no answer to the pace and sharpness of Plymouth’s backs with Billy Searle scoring two tries and Tom Bedford, Ethan Ford and Tom Putt also crossing.
The second half was a different story, with Henley upping their game and preventing Albion’s backs from getting the ball.
But what was pleasing for Albion is that they stopped Henley from scoring to keep their try-line intact for the first time this season.
Albion kept the same starting line-up that had earned wins over Cinderford and Blaydon.
And the visitors could not have made a better start with Searle scoring after less than three minutes. Marc Koteczky made a great break through Henley’s defence before feeding 19-year-old Searle to go over for his fifth try of the season. Fellow teenager Putt kicked the conversion.
And four minutes later Dawe’s side had a second try. Henley kicked straight out and Albion took a quick line-out with Cameron Thompson reacting quickly to gather the ball and then put Bedford in to score.
Putt was unable to convert that effort and Henley did respond with a penalty by James Comben.
But straight from the restart, Albion scored a third try. Henley failed to gather the kick-off and Ford picked up and ran in from 30 metres to score.
Putt converted and then four minutes later the 18-year-old scored his first try for the club after great backs play by Jake Murphy and Bedford.
Albion’s backs looked like they could score at will. Ford thought he was going to score a second when the visitors turned Henley over and broke but the referee pulled play back for a forward pass.
But Plymouth’s fifth try did come on 32 minutes and it came from Searle again after more good work by Murphy. Putt brilliantly converted to make it 33-3, which was how it stayed until half-time.
Henley were much better after the break, using their driving maul more. They twice came within inches of scoring through this method.
Albion could not get anything going in the second half but they got some points on the board in the 70th minute when Putt kicked a long-range penalty.
Henley continued to put Plymouth under pressure and in the 73rd minute the visitors had Ollie Dawe sin-binned for a professional foul. However, they defended the pressure well to keep the Hawks out.
Henley: L O’Neill, L Owen, F Pierrepont, T Allen (J Bradford h/t), S Perry, J Comben, J Helliwell (C Murphy 51), T West (H Jackson 61), T Emery, D Manning, W Woodward (E Church 45), C Davey, D Clements (capt), T Hall (W Woodward 62), R Stapley (I Davies 33).
Albion: T Putt, T Bedford, J Murphy (capt), M Koteczky, E Ford, B Searle, C Setter (M Shepherd 58), O Dawe, J Penman (R Freestone 65), C Judge (D Pullinger 65), D Collier, E Holmes (G Sebastien 58), N Dacres, C Thompson, H Stupple (J Hayler 69).
Referee: Phil Davies (RFU)
Scorers: Henley: Pen: Comben
Albion: Tries: Searle 2, Bedford, Ford, Putt; Cons: Putt 4; Pen: Putt
Cards: O Dawe (yellow 73)