Tows left to rue poor start as they suffer first defeat

Craig Holton
Craig Holton
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Disappointed director of rugby Robbie George was left to rue his side’s slow start after Towcestrians slumped to their first league defeat of the season, losing 30-20 to Old Halesonians.

“We started poorly against a very physical side,” conceded George afterwards. “And probably showed them too much respect along with some unnecessary unforced errors.

“The response from the players after the break was great, getting us right back into it and it was disappointing in the end not to come away with a bonus point.”

It was always going to be a tough away fixture against a team well established in this league and it turned out to be the proverbial game of two halves after a shocking first 40 minutes from Tows was followed by a spirited fightback.

Nothing went right for the visitors against a well drilled Old Hales who romped into a 12-0 lead thanks to a couple of early tries.

Tows fought back and a 20 yard forward drive split the home pack and prop Peter Gowler went over to get his side back into the game, but a yellow card for Nicky Blackham soon after was punished as the hosts who slotted over a penalty.

Worse was to come for Tows as another Old Hales penalty was followed by an unconverted score as the visitors found themselves down to 13 men and 23-5 behind at half-time.

Tows started the second-half brightly and with more confidence, James Hale broke through to be held up just short of the line with Yuill slotting the resulting penalty.

Halesonians responded with a try to secure the bonus-point but it would be their last points of the game as Tows finally found their groove, Craig Holton going over with 15 minutes to go to close the gap to 30-13.

Hale again went close, unable to ground the ball over the line twice, before finally being rewarded with a score under the posts for Yuill to convert, although it was too little too late and the home side ran out 30-20 winners.

Towcestrians 1st XV are at home to Bridgnorth this weekend.

Towcestrians 2nd XV also travelled to Halesonians IIs and showed the club’s strength in depth, routing the home side 69-15, while elsewhere, Tows 3rd XV saw off Buckingham IIs in impressive fashion, winning, 44-17, and the Colts won their cup game away at Market Bosworth 10-3.