Hornets back to winning ways at the Nest

Hornets v Barnstaple.

Hornets v Barnstaple. - Credit: Archant

Hornets got back on the winning trail with a 36-17 victory over Barnstaple at the Nest.

Hornets 36 pts

Barnstaple 17 pts

HORNETS got back to winning ways as they picked up a bonus point victory at home to Barnstaple.

The hosts got off to a fine start when a penalty was kicked to touch and the resulting line-out won. The ball was moved one way along the back line and back again for Ross Cheeseborough to dive over for the first score.

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Further Hornets penalties found touch and the forwards set up driving mauls, but it was from a Barnstaple line-out that the next try came. The ball was over thrown and Sean Disney collected it made a break and fed Rob Dempsey, who cleverly kicked through.

The forwards were in close support, secured the ball and the backs moved it quickly for Adam Vaughan to dive over for a great try on his National League debut. The conversion was again missed.

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The rest of the first half belonged to Barnstaple and they piled pressure on the Hornets’ defence with a wave of attacks which eventually led to a try to make the half-time score 10-5.

Hornets started the second half strongly. A scrum was turned over and the forwards looked to force their way over, but were held up short.

Another scrum resulted and now the home pack were on top at the set piece, but still they could not convert the pressure into points and Barnstaple repeatedly broke free and in turn put pressure on the home defence.

On 50 minutes, Conor Littlewood entered from the bench. Disney moved to fly-half and Littlewood slotted in at scrum-half. Immediately he was able to lift the tempo and get the pack moving forward.

Littlewood broke for the line only to be held up. What resulted was a series of scrums which saw the Hornets pack dominate and at the third attempt a penalty try was awarded, converted by Jermaine Jones.

However, Hornets immediately lost concentration and Barnstaple stormed back into the game with a try of their own to make it 17-10.

The next 10 minutes saw Hornets at their best and saw them score three quick tries and kill the game off. First Sean Kent smashed through the defence and while stopped short, the ball was quickly recycled for Charlie Carter to score unopposed.

Then Disney moved to centre stage, first he kicked to the left-hand touch line, the ball bounced kindly and Phil Hogarth was able to crash over.

Disney then tried the same to the right-hand touch line. This time the kick was weighted to perfection and Jones was able to gather and touch down for a try. Jones converted both tries and suddenly Hornets led by 36-10 and were out of sight.

Barnstaple scored one more at the end to give a final score of 36-17.

At the final whistle, Hornets were pleased with their bonus point win, but at the same time will know that they were rather flattered by the margin of victory. They will need to be on their game for the full 80 minutes on Saturday if they are to come away with anything from the long trip to Bournemouth.

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