Oaks made the short trip to Bawtry Road on Tuesday evening for the South Yorkshire Bowl quarter-final against local rivals Hallamshire. Having conquered rush hour traffic, a beautiful evening set the scene for a highly anticipated matchup – the first ever 1s fixture between the two clubs.
The pattern of the match was set practically from kick off as the Oaks monopolised possession with their dominant set piece. The hosts were clearly game and caused mayhem at the breakdown, but became increasingly discouraged by the ease at which the Oaks picked up points. Cue a purists’ score within five minutes when number eight Tom Green was carried over the whitewash from a rolling maul.
By the time fly half Joel Brasher-Jones was sent to the bin for a dangerous tackle on 25 minutes, Green was already on his way to a first half hat trick (of almost identical flops) and centre Lawrence Canham had managed to break a clutch of tackles to power over for his first.
A brief foray into enemy territory for the hosts came to nothing, and the teams turned with the Oaks 32-0 up following another cool-headed Canham finish. In fact, the gap could have been a lot more had a few more passes gone to hand and the visitors shown a little more patience while in possession.
The second half became a little scrappier as gaps opened up around the park with the temperature plummeting at sunset. Two well worked moves put Canham and captain Kelvin Charles in the corner, the former completing his own hat trick, and Brasher-Jones muscled over in the final minutes to add to his 13 point haul with the boot.
Final score 53-0 – a shake-up of the Oaks’ try scoring charts and a very satisfying result . Hallamshire clearly struggled to bridge the gap in quality, despite their dangerous runners, and left with nothing to show for their endeavours.
Still a lot to improve on with a trip to league leaders Halifax Vandals on Saturday and Sheffield Engineers in the semi-final next week. A strong 2s squad welcome free-scoring Pontefract 3s to Niagara in what should be a cracker.