Hornets clinch the league title at Wells

Hornets 1st XV.

Hornets 1st XV. - Credit: Archant

Hornets gained promotion with a fine display at Wells, taking the home team’s unbeaten record at the same time.

Wells 10 pts

Hornets 22 pts

HORNETS took Wells’ unbeaten home record stretching back to October 2011 and the league title with a powerful display on Easter Monday, after a close shave at Old Bristolians on Easter Saturday.

A huge number of spectators from both clubs braved the icy cold to watch this top of the table clash. Hornets just needed a win to be confirmed champions and they set about the task with determination right from the start.

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Wells had a penalty attempt hit an upright before Hornets took the lead with a catch and drive at a line-out, which saw top try scorer Alec Chase driven over the line. Five minutes later, Hogarth stole a line-out on the Wells throw Chase tidied up and fed Stuart Vinnicombe who powered over to touch down.

Wells reduced the arrears with a penalty and as Wells looked to push into Hornets 22, an interception by Matt Cornish gave him the chance to race 50-metres to the line, converted by Jermaine Jones.

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From the start of the second period, Hornets put Wells under the cosh. They set up camp on the Wells line, but only scored one try due to excellent defence by Wells.

The ball was recycled several times before good work between Chase and Sonny Haines secured Hornets’ last try of the afternoon and the added luxury of the bonus point.

With just 20 minutes remaining, Wells scored a converted try came to close the gap, but Hornets held on to secure victory and the league title.

Old Bristolians 24 pts

Hornets 25 pts

HORNETS travelled to Old Bristolians for the first of their Easter weekend re-arranged fixtures.

The supporters did not have a long wait as with only 58 seconds on the watch, Old Bristolians scored a try without a Hornets player touching the ball. From the kick-off, the ball was recycled twice then spun out to the wing who rounded the defence to score under the posts.

A Hornets’ line-out take and drive was stopped and the ball was recycled by Alec Chase and Sean Disney for Sean Kent to score a well-worked try. James Leatherby added the extras to level at 7-7.

As the first quarter came to a close, a training park line-out saw Kent hit Phil Hogarth, who put Disney through to score. A penalty by Leatherby stretched Hornets’ lead to 7-15.

As the half drew to a close, good ball control and recycling for OB’s forwards and backs put their centre into space to cross for a try as the sides turned round with the score at 12-15.

After the break, good pressure on the OB half-backs saw Leatherby dive on the loose ball for a try. As the clock hit the hour mark, a quick penalty by OB’s No 9 saw him scoot over for a try to narrow the gap to 17-20.

A yellow card for an OBs player on 67 minutes saw Hornets capitalise on the extra man. Quick line-out ball was moved through the hands across the back line saw Cornish make the final break and pass to Jones to touch down.

As the game drew to a close, the OB’s winger ran the length of field to score the try of the match under the posts to narrow the gap to just one point.

On Saturday, Hornets travel to local rivals Burnham for what will be an interesting encounter. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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