Hornets impress at The Nest in a high-scoring entertaining match

PUBLISHED: 09:30 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:30 23 February 2018

Hornets v Brixham. Matt Denton charging over the try line.

Hornets v Brixham. Matt Denton charging over the try line.

Archant

Hornets finished as narrow winners in an entertaining, high-scoring encounter at home to Brixham.

Hornets 44 pts

Brixham 40 pts

Before kick-off, a minute’s round of applause was observed by players and supporters alike to remember Len Datchler, who passed away recently.

The large crowd were highly entertained with fast, furious rugby by both teams and a total of 10 tries, Hornets hanging on to win by six tries to four and earn a much-needed bonus point win.

Things did not start well for Hornets as the kick-off was fumbled and Brixham had good ball in Hornets’ 22. The visitors were awarded a penalty and decided to kick to the corner, but stout defence kept them out, but they were awarded another penalty which this time they kicked to go three up.

From the excellent restart by Carter, the ball was won and Brixham were penalised. A quick tap by Disney and the scrum-half was off, supported by Cheeseborough and Denton.

Another ruck was formed on Brixham’s line and Harris collected the ball and drove over it for the first try, converted by Humphris. Hornets started to get into full stride, only to have a pass intercepted and the winger outstripped the defence to score and a conversion to follow.

This lifted Brixham and soon after they got another try to go 17-7 up and Hornets were struggling. Hornets rallied and Francis, Bailey and Dempsey made inroads.

Another penalty to Hornets five metres out and the tap penalty was on. The ball was shipped along the line and when Haines was stopped just short, Disney was spotted an unguarded line to score, converted by Humphris.

Brixham were awarded another penalty right on half-time to go in 20-14 front at the break.

Nettleton and Hobbs came on to provide fresh legs and another penalty to Hornets early in the second half was kicked by Humphris.

At the restart, Denton was beginning to dominate. Francis made another break and Pape barrelled over with his pack with him, converted by Humphris to go in front for the first time at 24-20.

Brixham replied with another penalty kick before Aplin delivered the perfect line-out ball, collected and the resultant push for the line and Pape had another to make it 29-23.

Brixham closed the gap with another penalty and another interception saw the Brixham scrum-half cross under the posts for an easy conversion to lead 29-33.

With 10 minutes left, Hornets narrowed the gap with a penalty by Humphris. Another penalty to Hornets saw the referee bin a Brixham player.

The scrum was won by Aplin and spun down the line for Carter to create the overlap and he offloaded to Bailey to go over in the corner.

From the restart collected by Harris, the long clearance kick was dropped and Denton collected the spilt ball and sprinted over the line for a well-deserved try to lead 44-33.

Brixham scored with the last play of the game when they got their fourth try as Hornets secured a five-point win to keep their season alive.

Hornets have a break from the league to play a Somerset Cup semi-final against Bridgwater at Weston on Saturday.

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