Bears seal victory v Stags
Coventry Bears v Hemel Stags
Report by Mike Hyde
Butts Park Arena, Sunday 11th June 3pm
Coventry Bears 28Hemel Stags 24
Bears back from the brink to gain victory
There was intermittent sunshine and an at times blustery wind for this bottom of the table encounter at Coventry’s Butts Park Arena.
The Bears came into the game on the back of their trip to Toronto, where they had acquitted themselves better than their table position would suggest, they were full of confidence, but could tiredness after the flight diminish their performance?
The Stags have had a disappointing season, winless in all competitive matches, and their only bright spot so far has been a victory in a warm-up game………….against Coventry Bears!
So, the stage was set for a game both sides had identified as winnable, indeed must win.
Hemel kicked off and were soon pressing Coventry on their ten yard line. Taking advantage of the windy conditions, they tried a couple of kicks at the end of their sets but to no avail.
Bears’ Jamahl Hunte gave a taste of what was to follow when he came close to an interception that would have set him free, but he wasn’t quite able to gather the ball.
Coventry also experimented with a high kicking game and gained a lot of territory after a Stags fumble, but it was a grub kick from ten yards out which allowed Hayden Freeman to open Coventry’s account for a try easily converted by Brad Delaney.
On nine minutes,JamahlHunte ran half the length of the field to extend the scoreline for Coventry, with Brad Delaney again converting.
There then followed a period of stalemate before Kieran Sherratt added to the Bears lead midway through the half.
Jamahl Hunte was soon on the score sheet again with his second try, giving an impressive 22-0 lead after the conversion,and he nearly had a hand in another as heunselfishly passed after gaining forty yards but the move broke down with a few yards to go.
Hemel were not giving in and Lewis Fairhurst zigzagged through the home defence for a try which was converted by Mitch Vincent putting the halftime score at 22-6
Half time 22-6
Hemel came out for the second half determined to fully get back into the game while the Bears now looked tired and not fully in the game. It appeared that the Toronto trip was taking its toll.
The half was barely 4 minutes old when after a couple of clever kicks, Hemel crossed over for a try and conversion to make it 22-12
Hemel scored again as the fightback continued, and rapid-fire Stags added another with just ten minutes of the second half gone. Mitch Vincent making easy work of all the conversions as Hemel took the lead for the first tomake it 22-24, and within grasp of that first league victory.
At this stage the momentum was completely with the away side and the game looked lost.
However it was an unfortunate injury to a Hemel player which brought play to a halt for ten minutes which changed the whole complexion of the game.
When play restarted, the Bears had regained their composure and started pressing hard.
Chris Barratt snatched the lead back with eleven minutes remaining with Delaney’s conversion extending the lead to 28-24.
The final ten minutes were nail-biting as the game could still have gone either way.
But Coventry held firm and this time there was no letting the Stags back into the game, and their second victory of the season was in the bag.
Final Score Coventry Bears 28 Hemel Stags 24
Coventry Bears Squad
1 Harry Chapman
2 Mikey Russell
3 Tommy Brierley
4 Hayden Freeman
5 Jamahl Hunte
6 Billy Gaylor
7 Brad Delaney
8 James Guertjens
9 Richie Hughes
10 Dan Gover
11 Kieran Sherrat
12 Chris Barratt
13 Matt Reid
Interchanges [all used]
14 Alex Beddows
15 Paddy Jones
16 Liam Thompson
17 Jack Morrison
Tries;Hayden Freeman  JamahlHunte[9, 27] KieranSherratt  Chris Barratt 
Goals; Delaney 4/5
1 Mitch Vincent
2 Marcus Elliott
3 Danny Lawton
4 Lewis Williams
5 Darren Forde
6 Brett Whitehead
7 Lewis Fairhurst
8 Corey Hanson
9 Jonathon Burns
10 Daniel Hawkesworth
11 James Thornton
12 Jack O’Brien
13 Reece Williams
Interchanges [all used]
15 Daniel Samuel
16 Sam Crowther
17 Wayne Jowett
Tries:Lewis Fairhurst [35, 51] Jack O’Brien Wayne Jowett 
Goals:Mitch Vincent 4/4
Man of the Match: Brad Delaney took control when it mattered to seal the victory for the Bears
Match Sponsor; SCAEL Automotive Consultants
Scoring Sequence; 6-0, 12-0, 16-0, 22-0, 22-6
22-12,22-18, 22-24, 28-24
Bears next action; next Sunday away at South Wales Ironmen
Next home game; Sunday 25th June v Workington Town