RUGBY LEAGUE - Midlands Hurricanes secure first Portway win against London Skolars - The Redditch Standard
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15th Aug, 2022

RUGBY LEAGUE - Midlands Hurricanes secure first Portway win against London Skolars

MIDLANDS Hurricanes secured another impressive win after thrashing London Skolars 50-28 to record their first victory at Portway under their new name.

Benn Hardcastle, Hayden Freeman, Elliott Windley and Matty Welham all crossed twice for the home side with David Foggin-Johnston also touching down in a clinical display.

The result leaves Hurricanes in sixth place in the Betfred League 1 table having claimed back-to-back wins after successive losses.

Head Coach Rich Squires said: “It was scrappy, completely different to where we were last week. We completed at 100% last week, but this was just one of those games where we couldn’t get into it.

“It was a little bit stop-start – London controlled parts well to bring it down to their speed, but it didn’t help us. We couldn’t maintain our momentum going forward.

“We’ve got the win, come through unscathed, and can look forward to North Wales next week.”

Hurricanes broke the deadlock on six minutes when Ben Stead’s bobbling kick evaded everyone allowing Hardcastle to pounce and touch down.

The home side were in again three minutes later when Matty Welham cut through the Skolars line before producing a simple pass for Freeman to stroll under the posts.

Skolars hit back after a quarter of an hour through long-time Coventry Bear Harry Kaufman, who took a short Philip Lyon pass to power over.

However, the hosts extended their lead when Hardcastle’s kick set-up a quick one-two between Foggin-Johnston and Liam Welham which bamboozled the Skolars defence allowing the winger to dive over in the corner.

Skolars responded again shortly before the half-hour mark when a wicked bounce agonisingly edged over Liam Welham’s fingertips and Alexander Deery profited.

The visitors then drew level minutes later when some slick handling opened up a huge gap for Jarred Bassett to score.

Despite having Freeman in the sinbin and seeing Hardcastle hobble off, Hurricanes were able to edge back into the lead right on half time, when Windley wriggled through a gap and snuck over.

And Hurricanes struck early in the second half, while still down a man as Stead’s delicate high kick was plucked out of the Midlands air by M Welham for a deserved score.

Freeman bagged his second within five minutes of returning to the field with a good finish in the corner, but the credit went to Marcus Green for a gut-busting run that started in his own half and ended metres from the Skolars line.

Bassett dodged his way through just before the hour to give Skolars hope, but it was short-lived.

Hardcastle returned to the field with a quarter of an hour remaining and his impact was almost immediate, supporting L Welham’s terrific break to take an easy pass and finish.

And the Hurricanes scored again from their next set when Windley fed Irish international Peter Ryan who powered up field before slipping it back to Windley for the finish.

Hurricanes punished a flailing Skolars again soon after, with M Welham bagging his second just moments after a scorching break from Foggin-Johnston.

Skolars had the final say of the game when Deery bagged his second just before the hooter, but it did little more than flatter the visitors, who were well and truly beaten.

Hurricanes are next in action away at North Wales Crusaders on Sunday, April 24 with kick-off at 2.30pm at Eirias Stadium.

Report sourced by Dave Musson.

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