Haileybury managed to continue their early season winning run with a hard earned victory over traditional rivals Oundle.
This was the home teams first victory in this fixture for many years and they were made to fight hard to take the spoils. Haileybury made a positive start and probably should have made early pressure count but Oundle got the first points on the board with a penalty.
The outstanding Sam Cappaert pulled the scores level with a simple penalty. Iwan Dawes, returning from a long term injury, made a cameo first half appearance and showed his class firing out long passes to create uncertainty in the away defence. One of these allowed the mercurial Ollie Heazel to weave his way over for the first try.
Oundle had a good spell after this by playing through their forwards and nailing another two penalties to make the half time score 10-9 to the home team.
At the start of the second half Oundle piled on the pressure but the hard working Duncan Henderson popped up with an intercept and fed fellow flanker Josh Stibbs who intelligently kicked forward to give his team a foothold in the opposition half allowing Cappaert to extend the lead, 13-9.
Haileybury were defending ferociously and disrupting rucks meaning Oundle struggled to sustain any pressure. The defence was led by the indefatigable Josh Stibbs and man of the match Kyle Douglas who forced several turnovers.
Haileybury produced some top quality play to secure the match defining try. Captain Bryn McCall spotted some space on the blindside and fed the superb Ed Harris who linked with his fellow forwards before the ball was transferred to Kayode Ariyo on the wing who finished in style by beating two men.
There was more quality play again as Jamie Hoyes showed good footwork and strength to score a fine team try that Dawes converted to give Haileybury a two score advantage.
Oundle were desperate to score at the death but Haileybury showed their spirit by fighting desperately to keep them out and they succeeded. This defensive effort was epitomised by Iwan Dawes who had a great game on his return from injury.
Full Time: Haileybury 25-9 Oundle