Clarence Town Cobras defeat Hexham Jets 36-22

Clarence Town Cobras consolidated third spot on the ladder with a 36-22 away win against Hexham Jets on Saturday.

The win gives the Cobras a one-point gap on Karuah and three points over Hexham.

They still have a strong chance of rising to second leapfrogging Cardiff who are a point clear of them.

The Jets camped on the Cobras line for several sets and eventually the effort told on the Cobras as the homeside crossed for two tries in the first 10 minutes for a handy 10-0 lead.

Clarence Town’s task was made even more difficult when prop Ben Bradley had to succumb to what looked like a severe calf injury which would sideline him for the remainder of the game.

To their credit the Cobras fought their way back into the game and midway through the first half prop Paul Mascord proved too strong crashing through opposition players to score next to the posts to reduce the margin to 6-10.

As the Claro forwards marched their way through the Jets ruck, Phil Badior stepped out of dummy half close to the line.

He placed a perfect kick cross field for winger Blake Fisher to leap high and tip the ball back for fullback Kurt Blowes to simply catch and place on the ground for the Cobras second try to level the score at 10-10.

By this time the Cobras’ forwards led by Brad Johnson were asserting their authority and were continually making valuable metres with every carry of the ball.

On the back of this good work a sweeping backline movement found winger Shane Lewis on the end to race over in the corner to score. Badior’s sideline conversion gave the Cobras the lead at 16-10.

There was even better things to come for Claro when just before the break centre Joe Gorton burst on to a nice pass from Blowes to score and give the Cobras a valuable 22-10 lead at half-time.

The Cobras finished the first half well and truly on top and if they could sustain the same type of game for the next 40 minutes they were going to be hard to hold out.

Centre Lewis Keating did his bit to make sure the momentum continued when he combined with George Dunn down the blindside to cross in the 53rd minute. The conversion was unsuccessful and left the score at 26-10.

Only five minutes later Blowes continued his scintillating form at fullback when he brushed aside and stepped through would be defenders to score a fantastic individual try to increase the Cobras lead to 32-10.

Claro were in command and continually caused the opposition problems but a lazy one-on-one tackle close to their line let the Jets in for simple try and to give them a glimmer of hope at 32-16.

Hexham’s joy was short lived and after a mistake early in the restart the Cobras took full advantage and hit back when Badior ducked out of dummy half and picked up Mascord who strolled over for his second try of the game and push the margin out to 36-10.

After consecutive penalties Hexham were able to cross for a try as the full-time siren sounded for a 36-22 win for the Cobras.

Next week is set down as a spare weekend as all the other sides in D grade have the weekend off with the exception of Clarence Town and Karuah who have to play a wet catch up game at Karuah at 2pm on Saturday.

Once again the battle for third spot continues and a win would see either of the sides gain the advantage.

A win would see Clarence Town move to second, a loss could leave either side back in fourth.

Pointscore: Glendale 28, Cardiff 18, *C/Town 17, *Karuah 16, Hexham 14, Swansea 10, R/Terrace 7, Maitland United 3

* Game in hand this weekend

Clarence Town 36: Tries: Kurt Blowes 2, Paul Mascord 2, Shane Lewis, Joe Gorton, Lewis Keating; Goals: Phil Badior 4/7

Best Forward: Bead Johnson; Best Back: Kurt Blowes; Best Benchy: Paul Mascord; Supporters Award: Phil Badior; Players Player: Kurt Blowes