Disciplined defending keeps Hornets on top

Hornets v Old Patesians.

Hornets v Old Patesians. - Credit: Archant

Hornets defeated Old Patesians in a low-scoring encounter at Hutton Moor.

Hornets 8 pts

Old Patesians 0 pts

HORNETS’ defence worked overtime to record a hard-fought and narrow victory over Old Patesians.

Young wing Charlie Carter led the team out on his 50th 1st XV appearance, with the back line bolstered by the return of Matt Cornish making his first 1st XV start of the season.

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The recent work on the pitch had worked its magic following the heavy rain the day before, although it was a tad sticky. This was to prove decisive as from the kick-off, the ball stopped dead causing the Old Pats receiver to knock-on.

The resulting scrum saw Hornets secure the ball, Littlewood picked and drove forward, a well-timed pass to scrum-half Disney allowed him to pass out to Jones on the wing, who barrelled over in customary style, out wide.

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His conversion attempt unfortunately came back of the upright, but with only 69 seconds on the watch, Hornets found themselves 5-0 up.

Old Pats took control for most of the half, giving Hornets defence a constant workout. Littlewood got on the wrong side of the Devon referee and was shown a yellow card. With Hornets down to 14 men, this did however raise their game, but more importantly they kept the line intact. As a result, Hornets managed to turn round 5-0 up.

The second half started with Hornets finally getting some ball. A high tackle in front of the post in Old Pats 22 allowed Jones to add a penalty.

Changes in personnel saw young Baker on for Chase in the front row and a second Littlewood brother in the shape of Conor, on for Disney at nine.

With the wind now at their backs, Old Pats’ No 10 Jones put in some great kicks to maintain the pressure on the home side. A sordid period on Hornets goal line saw their defence come out on top as veteran Hogarth marshalled the youngsters around him, in particular young Smith.

As frustration started to creep into the Old Pats game, prop Saunders was sent to the bin for not rolling away. With the game entering its final quarter, Old Pats lost influential second row Stickland with a hand injury.

The game drew to a close with Carter bundled into touch just short of the line with the last play of the match and possibly his first touch. As the final whistle went, a relieved crowd and team were happy to take the 8-0 win with a great display of disciplined defending.

Hornets: S Vinnicombe, C Carter, M Cornish, A Francis, J Jones, J Letherby, S Disney, A Chase, C Francis, S Haines, C Harris, P Hogarth, R Cheeseborough, J Smith, J Littlewood. Reps: C Baker, K Ward, C Littlewood.

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