A STORMING first half performance guaranteed Whitchurch a 27-14 victory against Old Halesonians at Edgley Park.

Taking a leaf out of England’s successful strategy, the home side started at breakneck speed, opting to kick deep into the visitors’ half and exert pressure on Halesonians.

The back row of Ian Hockenhull, Jack Furnival and captain Jon Cope set the tone, pinning Old Hales back in their half.

Hockenhull was able to charge down a clearing kick and force the opposition to try to play out of their own 22.

Despite all of the pressure, Whitchurch were unable to turn the initial field position into a score.

Hales, although desperate at times, were frantically able to clear their lines.

As the front row began to become more settled, they too began to take the game on upfront.

Callum Southall, rising through the Whitchurch age groups, was making his first start for the first XV in the front row and was doing a fine job of taking on his opposite, more experienced, man.

Whitchurch were eventually awarded a penalty and skipper Cope decided to take the points and make the pressure count.

Danny Nicholas put the ball between the posts for the first score of the game to put Whitchurch 3-0 up.

After numerous phases of play Jack Furnival was able to find a chink in the armour and break two tackles to run in under the posts.

The conversion by Nicholas took the score to 10-0 and Whitchurch were firmly in control.

Edgeley Park was in a great condition despite the recent inclement weather and Whitchurch were able to play a fast, free-flowing game.

Henry Hockenhull and Ryan Horton, a new look centre partnership, we’re linking up extremely well and causing all sorts of problem for the opposition.

Whitchurch found themselves attacking again deep into the Hales half, with big carries from the front five.

It was Stevie Bloor who went crashing over the line this time and took the score to 15-0.

The first half continued in the same vein with winger Jed Towers deciding it was his turn to get in on the action. His evasive footwork and powerful running allowed him to collect the ball just outside the 22 and skip past defenders to score the third try of the game.

The conversion was missed but Whitchurch were 20-0 up.

The final action of the half came from the formidable Steve Bloor, who replicated his first try by smashing his was over the line.

Nicholas converted and at half time Whitchurch were 27-0 up.

The second half was almost a formality, Whitchurch continued to play rugby but the Old Hales defence were not letting up and, coupled with some poor decisions by Whitchurch, resulted in a fairly tame second half.

On the hour mark stand-in coaches Gardiner and Hockenhull introduced Teddy Taylor to the game, another debut for the first XV and another player that looks to have a bight future with the club.

It was, however, in the last 10 minutes Old Hales decided to have one last roll of the dice and attack for some pride.

Some confusion at the lineout allowed them to set a platform and their number seven was able to pick from the maul and run in for their first try of the afternoon.

This followed another quick score allowing the visitors to score 14 points.

The game finished 27-14 to move the Edgeley Park Club up into sixth place in Midlands One.