Hawken inspires Olney to victory over Aylesbury

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Olney’s strong Southern Counties North league form continued with a trilling 28-26 victory over Aylesbury on Saturday.

Although a shot at second place and the play-offs is probably beyond them in their first year in the division following last season’s relegation, Olney have put a difficult start behind them to occupy a respectful fifth spot in the league.

Victory against Aylesbury was Olney’s fourth in five games, and thoughts of their disappointing defeat at Wallingford last time out were quickly put to bed when Paddy Leahy opened the scoring and James Hawken converted for a 7-0 away lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Aylesbury replied with a converted try, and suddenly the home side took control of the game – running in a second try and conversion to move 14-7 to the good.

With 20 minutes played Hawken closed the gap to four points with a penalty, and with half an hour on clock he did it again to leave just a single point between the sides.

And Olney moved back in front as the first half drew to a close when James Hannah raced clear to touch down for the visitors’ second try. But the first half wasn’t over yet and Aylesbury took their chance to score another converted try and make it 21-18 at the interval.

There was no separating the teams for the first 20 minutes of the second period, but Aylesbury looked to make the game safe when they added another converted try to move eight points clear.

Olney were having none of it though, and after going close through George Stanton, they were back on the scoreboard thanks to Hawken who bamboozled the home team’s defence to score, before adding the conversion himself.

At 26-15 to Aylesbury there was all to play for, and it was Olney who snatched victory with five minutes remaining when Hawken was on target with a third penalty of the day.