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Old Grovians back make hay after forwards take control
Old Grovians 64, Halifax 7
After a intense week's training, old Grovians were determined to up their game against Halifax, one of the pre-season promotion contenders in SSE Yorkshire Division Four.
The game started with a bang. Grovians took a quick tap penalty which allowed Ricky Hopkinson to stroll in unopposed.
This was quickly followed by a midfield-backs move which allowed Gaz Philips to burst through the middle, draw the full back and put Ben Brown in for his first try of the season. Both tries were converted by Adam Weaving to give the home side a 14-0 lead after only ten minutes.
Halifax proved that they were going to be no pushovers when their No 9 stole the ball from a scrum and set up a good position to allow the outside centre to go over for a well-worked try.
The Halifax scrum half was to remain a thorn in Old Grovians' side all game, constantly disrupting ball at the back of scrum.
This aside, Weaving converted a penalty to extend the lead and then, just before half-time, Kyle Hawkins showed his pace to round his opposite man and go over to leave the interval score at 24-7 to the home team.
Grovians started the second half just as they began the first, attacking from deep. Quick ball allowed Hawkins to scorch past the defence for a well-deserved second try.
This seemed to take the wind out of Halifax's sails and Grovians remained on top for the rest of the contest.
Hopkinson managed to claim his second try after a clever kick by Brown and then scorer turned provider as Joel Bradley latched onto a Hopkinson pass to dive over in the corner.
Anthony Griffin, who was enjoying his best game of the season, powered past three defenders to take Grovians past the 50 mark but they were not finished, and Hopkinson claimed his hat-trick after a Bradley box kick and Philips forced his way over at the final whistle.
This was an encouraging all-round display, and although all the tries came from the backs, the platform was provided by the forwards.
Brad Williams had a big game and James Trenholme added good power to the front row of Matt Worrall and Chris Blackhall. Grovians, preparing for a tough five weeks, now need to consolidate.