Oldham 38 Hemel Stags 10

Date published: Monday, August 18, 2014
THE Hemel monkey is off our back at last ! The Stags from Hertfordshire were the only side in Kingstone Press Championship One that we hadn’t beaten this season, after two game against each other, but we put that right in the best possible way with a stunning 38-10 win at Whitebank.

In one of our best performances of the year — if not THE best — we were ruthless in defence and clinical in attack, restricting Hemel to two tries (one in the first few minutes and the other near the end) and scoring a magnificent seven ourselves.
Adam Clay got a couple on the left wing and others were scored by Phil Joy, David Cookson, Kenny Hughes, George Tyson and Steve Roper, who also kicked five conversions.
Everyone played well and some were outstanding, but to pick out a top trio you’d probably go with Phil Joy at prop, David Cookson at centre and George Tyson, who came off the bench at loose-forward to rip Hemel’s tiring defence to ribbons time and again.
He scored a brilliant try after a break by Danny Langtree and soon afterwards made the bust himself to beat two or three defenders before popping up an inside ball almost on the line for Steve Roper to finish off under the posts.
Cookson’s defence in the centre was awesome and he also ran strongly for his try after clever approach play by Gareth Owen.
The hooker had a hand in the first three of our tries and then handed over to Kenny Hughes who hadn’t been on the field long before he squeezed in from dummy half to give us a 20-6 interval lead.
We had to withstand a lot of pressure as Hemel’s big men came down the hill at us in the second half — a situation made worse by the fact that we conceded five penalties in a row and saw little ball for long periods.
We defended magnificently, however, and then broke out up the hill to score three fantastic tries by Tyson, Roper and Clay, the last of these a brilliant winger’s try by Clay, who accelerated up the touchline like a bullet from a gun to dive in at the corner.
Phil Joy, whose two spells in the engine room were outstanding, deservedly won the club’s official man-of-the-match award while George Tyson got the Magic Moment award for his fantastic try ten minutes into the second half.
Team: Palfrey; Agoro, Cookson, Ford, Clay; Roper, Robinson; Joy, Owen, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: Hughes, Ward, Mason, Tyson.