Henley College got the new year off to a great start with a hard fought win at Ivybridge College, Devon. This was a valuable victory as the game counted for double points in the southern region of the ASSE league due to the abandonment of the 1st round game at Henley.
Henley showed no ill effects from the four hour journey as they opened up playing a high tempo game in an effort to run the legs off the big Ivybridge pack, early linebreaks from Henley’s outside backs went unrewarded as they failed to finish these off in the opposition 22m. Ivybridge then opened the scoring against the run of play by kicking a penalty from the half way line.
The 1st half continued in much the same vain with Henley playing the more fluid rugby but unable to convert their pressure into points due in some part to the sticky surface. In contrast Ivybridge relied on a direct approach allied to a kicking game which Henley’s back three of Foster, O’Neill & Inglis dealt with well.
Although they turned around 0-3 down, Henley kept faith with their ball in hand tactics and this was finally rewarded when scrum half Jack Daly burrowed over from short range. Fly half Eastwell extended the lead to 7-3 with a simple conversion.
With plenty of time left on the clock Henley couldn’t afford to try and sit on their lead so continued to play with ball in hand, they gained valuable ground around the fringes and through midfield but again found finishing difficult with the line beckoning.
Ivybridge looked as though they might steal an unlikely victory as they dominated possession in the final 5 minutes but, as throughout the game, Henley’s defence held firm to ensure they held out for a deserved victory.