Hornets back to winning ways after first-half blitz

Hornets v Exmouth.

Hornets v Exmouth. - Credit: Archant

Hornets blew away Chippenham in a 30-minute first-half blitz which saw them race into a 31-0 lead.

Chippenham 7 pts

Hornets 31 pts

Hornets got back to winning ways on a cold and damp afternoon in Chippenham, in front of what must have been the smallest crowd of the season.

Hornets blew their opposition away in the first 30 minutes, but Chippenham showed in the second half that they are not going to leave this league without putting up a fight.

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Chippenham kicked off and Dan Ogden collected the ball cleanly and made ground, before offloading to Matthew Parker who put down an early marker as he punched holes in the Chippenham defence.

Hornets made it all the way to the Chippenham line where Dexter Nettleton was held up over the try line. From the resulting scrum, Parker picked up and crashed over. Sean Disney converted for an early 7-0 lead.

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Hornets this time kicked clear from the kick-off and Joe Smith put in a big hit to dislodge the ball as Chippenham looked to run the ball back. As the ball broke loose, Ben Fry scooped it up and broke into the Chippenham half.

As he was hauled down, the ball was recycled through Adam Francis to Robert Dempsey who broke the line and made good ground before getting a pass away to Chris Francis, who popped up on the wing to crash over. Disney again converted to give a 14-0 lead after seven minutes.

Chippenham were struggling to get any possession. They kicked to touch and Hornets won clean line-out ball and James Letherby attacked the line before slipping a pass to Joseph Gadd who broke into the 22 before setting the ball at the breakdown.

As it was recycled, Disney made an audacious pass through his legs to find Adam Francis unopposed on the blind side, who ran in to score.

Chippenham made their way back into the game and showed what they could do if they could set their driving maul. However, it was still Hornets who looked dangerous whenever they got their hands on the ball and on 24 minutes they scored again when Chris Francis took a short line-out to Connor Baker, who returned the ball to Francis who broke down the touch line.

The forwards were on hand to recycle the ball and it was moved quickly through the backs to Dempsey, who chose to pass to Gadd to run in unopposed for the bonus point score. Disney converted for 26-0.

Chris Francis scored again when the Hornets pack rumbled the ball forward and when it was moved to the blind side, he was again on hand to run the ball in.

As half-time approached, Chippenham sneaked a try of their own to make the score 31-7.

Half-time saw Hornets needing to make two changes with the injured Chris Francis and Gadd being replaced by Kieran Ward and Kieran Hill and the second half saw Chippenham up their game and spend a lot more time in possession of the ball.

The half meandered along with neither side being able to take the initiative and neither able to register any further points.

Hornets will be pleased with their bonus point win, but at the same time they will know that they should have registered a more comprehensive victory having started the game so strongly.

They will be looking to ensure that they play for the full 80 minutes on Saturday when the resurgent Old Centralians visit The Nest.

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