Match report: MIDLANDS HURRICANES 50 SKOLARS 28 at Portway Stadium

19th April 2022



Skolars’ losing start to the league campaign continued as they fell to defeat by Midlands Hurricanes on Sunday. 

The Hurricanes, having rebranded from Coventry Bears in the close season, won possession from the kick-off and then put the Skolars under pressure, being held-up over the line before Benn Hardcastle capitalised on an error from a kick into the in-goal. They scored again three minutes later when they created a gap on the left for Hayden Freeman to touch down.

Skolars had the advantage of a strong wind in the first half and a deep kick by Phil Lyon was chased by Alex Deery, forcing an error from the Hurricanes 30 metres from their tryline. That gave Skolars the chance to attack and put Harry Kaufman over for a try against his old club.

However, the home side struck back with David Foggin-Johnson passing inside to Liam Welham to create a gap when the ball came back to him.  Skolars then scored two tries in three minutes. First Deery dived on a loose ball that took a bad bounce to evade the Hurricanes’ full-back, them Jarred Bassett joined the attack on the left to score. When Freeman was sin-binned for holding down at the tackle, Skolars had a chance to take the lead, but they lost possession with a minute of the half remaining and Elliott Windley scored under the posts to give the hosts a six point lead at the break.

Skolars’ chances took a hit when scrum-half Lyon limped off with a shin injury early in the second half. They went further behind after Matt Wellham outjumped Reece Rance to score in the corner, before Freeman added his second try of the afternoon soon after returning to the field.

There was the chance of a comeback after Bassett weaved his way to the tryline, with Jonathan Bell converting, taking over the kicking duties from Lyon, to narrow the margin to ten points.  However, when Bell failed to find touch from a penalty in his own half, the Hurricanes were quick to seize the initiative, Benn Hardcastle cutting inside to score. Windley and Matt Welham both added tries in the next five minutes to seal the game, through Derry scored a consolation try just before the final hooter.

Skolars play Rochdale Hornets at New River Stadium on Saturday.


  1 Phil Cowburn

20 David Foggin-Johnston

  4 Matty Welham

  3 Liam Welham

  5 Hayden Freeman

  6 Ben Stead

  7 Benn Hardcastle

  8 Brad Clavering

  9 Elliott Windley

10 Peter Ryan

11 Jack Dawson

12 Jordan Bull

13 Tyler Walton

Subs (all used)

19 Trae O’Sullivan

15 Thomas Blakey

14 Nathan Newbound

18 Marcus Green

Tries: Hardcastle (6, 69), Freeman (9, 50), Foggin-Johnston (22), Windley (40, 71), Matt Welham (45, 74)

Goals: Hardcastle 2/3, Stead 5/6

Sinbin:  Freeman (37) – holding down


  1 Jarred Bassett

  2 Reece Rance

  3 Charles Hammond

  4 Aaron Small

  5 Leighton Ball

  6 Alex Deery

  7 Phil Lyon

  8 Christian Gale

14 Doug Chirnside  

11 Max Allen

12 Harry Kaufman

13 Liam O’Callaghan

Subs (all used)

9 Jonathan Bell 

20 Anthony Cox

21 Aston Stephenson

15 Luciano Bejanidze

Tries: Kaufman (15), Deery (28,80), Bassett (31,57) 

Goals: Lyon 2/3, Bell 2/2

Penalty count: 2-7

Half-time: 22-16

Referee: Brad Milligan

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 12-6, 16-6, 16-12, 16-16, 22-16; 28-16, 32-16, 32-22, 28-22, 44-22, 50-22, 50-28

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