Hornets finish the season with disappointing defeat

Hornets v Cleve.

Hornets v Cleve. - Credit: Archant

Hornets finished their season with a disappointing defeat, ending up in seventh position.

Hornets 30 pts

Cleve 33 pts

Hornets ended their National League season in a disappointing manner, slipping to a late defeat to Cleve and in doing so losing two more players to injuries ahead of tomorrow’s (Friday) Somerset Cup final.

Hornets were first to score when the pack won a penalty at an early scrum and from the resulting line-out a further penalty was awarded and Jermaine Jones converted. Cleve had a period of pressure resulting in a try on 15 minutes to give them the lead.

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It was then things started going wrong for Hornets. First Jones was forced from the field with a knee injury, and then having made a break through the Cleve defence, Robert Dempsey stayed down as play moved on and it soon became clear he had suffered a serious injury.

A break in play followed and Hornets had to reorganise themselves with Chris Francis finding himself on the wing. Hornets kept on the front foot and on 25 minutes Sony Haines charged over to score.

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Hornets continued to apply pressure and following a scuffle, a Cleve player was shown a yellow card. Hornets took advantage of the extra man and Francis joined the back of a maul and burrowed over to extend the lead at half time to 13-5.

Early in the second half, Cleve scored a converted try and the sides quickly exchanged further tries, Hornets’ score coming from Jack Gadd who battered his way through three defenders before stretching over the line.

With Hornets desperately struggling in the kicking department, Courtney Harries stepped up to score the conversion.

Things got even worse for Hornets as Sam Balkham had to leave the pitch temporarily and was replaced by Dave Vivian. This resulted in Hornets having a front row forward on both wings.

Hornets scored the try of the game when Kieron Ward threw a wide pass to Charlie Carter who made a great break into the Cleve half before offloading to Craig Nicholls to score under the posts. Frustratingly the conversion was missed.

With a 25-19 lead, Hornets should have gone on to secure a win. Unfortunately, poor decisions were made at a line-out and Cleve broke clear. Despite being stopped short and Hornets clearing the ball, Cleve came again and this time score a converted try for a 25-26 lead.

With less than a minute left on the clock the hosts thought they had won the game when Carter made a massive break from his own 22 beating six defenders on the way and from the scrum that resulted at the breakdown, Ward forced his way over to score.

Cleve replied with a clever switch kick, their centre pounced and made good ground and the forwards quickly recycled the ball three times before crashing over for the winning try. The conversion making the final score 30-33.

Hornets were left heartbroken and with other results not going their way this defeat means they finish seventh in the.

Focus will now turn to tomorrow’s (Friday) Somerset Cup final which will be see Hornets take on local rivals Weston at Weston Rec. The game is a 7.30pm kick-off and a very large crowd is expected in what will be a massive day for rugby in the town.

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