The Stags suffer a narrow defeat to the Bears!

The Stags suffer a narrow defeat to the Bears!

11th March 2018

HEMEL STAGS 16COVENTRY BEARS 22 H/T 0 - 16 The Stags were narrowly beaten by the Coventry Bears in an exciting Close fought game at Pennine Way. Losing by 16 points to nil at the break they came back strongly in the second half making the visitors grateful to hear the final hooter.

 Things started bad for the Stags as they were two tries down within the first 10 minutes. In Coventry’s first set of six they gave away a penalty and Errol Carter went in on the right for an unconverted score. The Bears’ second a good solo effort by Morley-Samuels who, aided by some weak Hemel defending, broke three tackles on the way to the line. Coventry’s man of the match, former Stags man Ben Stead,  slotted the conversion.

 On the twenty minute mark Carter notched his second, and his side’s third try after the Stags were penalised for dissent, Stead made the difficult kick and at 16-0 down things looked bleak for the home supporters.  The Stags seemed to up their work rate and gradually started to get into the game, dominating possession and defending well when needed, so much so that there were no further scores in the final 20 minutes of the first half.

 The second stanza saw Hemel start with a purpose and after just 4 minutes they broke the Coventry line, Marcus Stock being the man responsible charging over the line to score improved by Brad Hunter.

 It was all Hemel at this point, after forcing a couple of goal line drop outs, either side of a Hunter “try” disallowed for a forward pass they lay siege on the Coventry line forcing another three goal-line dropouts in successive sets but some stoic Coventry defending prevented any scores. The pressure on their line was finally eased when Stead got his hands on a Hemel pass and set off for the line, although he was finally chased down and caught the field position they gained brought a try for Gray and although it looked as though his outstretched arm may have been short of the line the referee had no doubts and awarded the 4 points. Stead converted.

 Hemel were quick to respond and set about attacking the visitor’s line again. A clever kick early in the tackle count by Kieran Smith was plucked from the air by Brad Hunter who dotted the ball down.

Smith was the architect of another Hemel score two minutes later when he fed the ball inside for Jack Mitchell to take at speed and gallop between the posts. Ricky Hough converted.

 Coventry we’re praying for the game to end and when they were awarded a penalty in front of the Hemel Posts they understandably opted for the kick, Stead hit the post but the hooter sounded to end what had been a close fought encounter that the Hemel coaching team and players can take a lot of positives from.

 After a blank weekend next week and a trip away to Cumbria the Stags next home game is on Good Friday when they take on local rivals London Skolars. It promises to be a cracker!

The Stags suffer a narrow defeat to the Bears!