Hemel Stags started their pre-season campaign with an impressive 38-18 victory over Gloucestershire All Golds at the Prince of Wales Stadium on Sunday.
Hemel kicked off and, although the All Golds had their backs to the strong sun, they fumbled the kick and the ball was collected by Stags debutante Darrell Olpherts to go over on 45 seconds.
With three minutes on the clock, Hemel scored again as a telling break by BJ Swindells allowed Michael Brown to feed Miles McLeod who finished the move. Swindells missed both of the conversions.
The All Golds then began to get into the game, and on 17 minutes Mulkeen flicked a pass out to the unmarked Pywell who went over. Bradley’s conversion narrowed the gap to two points.
All Golds’ James Walter went off after 20 minutes with a nasty looking ankle injury, before Hemel made the most of a mistake and Coleman caused confusion in the home defence – Michael Brown scampered through and only needed to put his hand on the ball to score.
Brown off loaded in the tackle for a grateful Tom Sadler to score Hemel’s next try, and the Stags looked set to score again just before the break but a good run by Eddie M’Baraga was stopped just short of the line.
The second half started with the All Golds on the attack, and a break by Bradley with a pass inside Rainer bought success for Gloucester as he ran 30 metres unopposed to score.
Hemel soon restored their advantage, though, as a dropped ball by the hosts led to M’Baraga charging over.
Three minutes later M’Baraga did it again after a solid run by Rob Thomas, with the two giant forwards combining well.
Rob Thomas and Darryl Davies were given yellow cards for fighting, but three minutes after that Hemel scored again as Olpherts cleverly off loaded in the tackle, allowing Frank Mayfield take the ball over.
As the two sin binned players were returning to the field, an altercation between Scriven and Helliwell saw both players yellow carded.
All went quiet until 78 minutes when Kislingbury scored a consolation try for the All Golds to complete the scoring.