Hemel Stags stumble against fellow strugglers

Hemel Stags in recent action. Picture: Kevin Read. PNL-160523-113822002
Hemel Stags in recent action. Picture: Kevin Read. PNL-160523-113822002

Gloucestershire All Golds left Hemel 48-18 victors on Sunday following a dominant second half performance against the Stags who had ruled the roost in the first half.

Neither of these two sides are in a position to trouble the top eight in League 1 come the mid season split but both coaches were looking to reverse a losing sequence of recent games.

However another defeat against fellow strugglers leave the Stags at the bottom of the table.

Hemel got on the front foot from the off with a try on three minutes for Captain BJ Swindells after impressive young prop Josh Halstead was held up. Swindells converted the try himself.

The visitors replied five minutes later after back to back penalties from Hemel, the referee was to go on and penalise them a further 14 times before the end of the game. Whittel provided the pass for Jack Mitchell to finish, Mitchell converting to level the scores.

Hard yards from Clough and Swindells paved the way for Liam O’Callaghan to force his way over the line, Swindells improving the score. In the next few minutes O’Callaghan was held up another twice as Hemel began to boss their opponents but it was Gloucester who scored against the run of play, Mitchell finding himself in space when a pass from Kieren Hyde split the Hemel defence open.

Former Wakefield and Bradford Bulls player Hyde was bringing all his Super League experience to bear putting in a performance that was in a different class to everyone else on the park! Again he was the architect for a try when he fed Lewis Reece on the last to go in for an unconverted score.

Just before O’Callaghan scored, following good work by Coker, Dale Cunniffe saw yellow for a very late shoulder charge on Readman. Gloucester took the lead almost on half time, gaining a penalty as Hemel kicked out from under the sticks on the full and Allison found the space to go in at the corner. Hyde took on the kicking duties and gave the All Golds a two point interval lead.

Gloucester came out from the break looking like a different team and scored quickly, that man Hyde strolling through on a power play, converting the try himself.

Former Hemel player Mo Agoro strolled in on the right. Hyde missed the kick but was on the mark shortly after with a penalty in front of the posts.

Hyde was leading his teammates around the park and Hemel had no answer to his magic, a skilful 40-20 rubbing salt in the Stags wounds.

Lewis Reece went over in the corner before the game turned ugly. Hemel got frustrated and Swindells got ten minutes in the bin for punching, Cunniffe a second yellow for his part in the melee then Aaron Hall followed them minutes later for another punch.

Reece chalked up his hat trick and Hooker Steve Parry scored with a scoot before the game came to a rather scrappy close.