Hornets 27pts Midsomer Norton 6pts
Hornets welcomed Midsomer Norton to Hutton Moor Park on Saturday to continue their league campaign and wanting to extend their unbeaten run.
Knowing that Chard, currently second in the league, had been posting cricket scores in recent weeks it was even more important for Hornets to score a bonus point win to maintain the eight point lead they held.
Hornets started the game strongly and following a break up field forced their way up to the Midsomer Norton goal line. The attack was halted when the player was tackled into touch but the home forwards won turnover ball from the resulting lineout and drove over the line for Neil Chenoweth to record the first try after just two minutes play. Sam Lloyd-Jones hit the upright with the conversion attempt.
Scoring early seemed to settle the nerves and Hornets started playing a more expansive game. A few scoring opportunities were missed but it was an improvement on the previous week’s game, both for the quality of play and the spirit of the match as both sides wanted to play rugby.
Midsomer Norton were next on the scoresheet with a penalty after Hornets were caught out for not releasing in the tackle.
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The visitors coming back into contention ensured that Hornets upped the intensity and five minutes later they were back on the attack. Having advanced up field they took the ball to the visiting pack and, forming a maul, drove for the line. This time Chris Disney was at the back with the ball and touched down for the second try. Again, the conversion was missed.
Hornets added to their total five minutes later following more good work by the forwards. Having scrimmaged strongly on the Norton 22, Number 8 Greg Speller, marking his 100th first team cap, picked up at the back and made a break on the blindside. With only the full back to beat he drew him in and then popped a pass to Nick Francis in support who crossed and scored close to the posts. Jamie Biddle was successful with the conversion and Hornets led 17-3.
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This should have been the beginning of the end and, had Hornets maintained their concentration and intensity, they could have run in a big score. It was not to be though as little niggles entered the game and led to hooker Sean Kent being sinbinned for having too much to say for himself. This started a spell either side of half-time which saw Hornets take their foot off the gas and although the visitors did not add to their score they did prevent Hornets scoring until 29 minutes into the second half.
Before this score Hornets made several changes, with Sonny Haines coming on for Harry Nash, Paul Sheppard replacing John Ferguson and Ross Cheeseborough leaving the field to let Jake Fereday into the action. And it was one of the replacements who crossed the whitewash for the bonus point score, Paul Sheppard winning a foot race against his opposite number to score in the corner. Biddle was short with the conversion.
The final score fell to Ashley Kinchant who scored his first try of the season in his 101st game for the first team and ensuring Hornets 12th victory of the season in all competitions.
This weekend Hornets face a tough test as they travel to third placed Minehead Barbarians, who have strung together some good results in recent weeks.