Hornets’ impressive run comes to an end

Jermaine Jones.

Jermaine Jones. - Credit: Archant

Hornets’ impressive run of victories came to an end at Chard.

Chard 27 pts

Hornets 15 pts

HORNETS’ run of victories came to an end against a well-organised and determined Chard side, who should not yet be written off as contenders for promotion.

The early indications were that Hornets were in for a difficult afternoon. Chard applied pressure from the kick-off and before Hornets had found their bearings, the home side had slotted a wind assisted penalty for a 3-0 lead.

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As Chard applied pressure, Hornets defended strongly, Haines put in a strong tackle and in doing so stole the ball. A quick offload put Cornish into space, who moved the ball to Jack Gadd. He made good ground before putting Carter clear to score in the corner.

The Chard pack soon regained the ascendency and were awarded a penalty and kicked for the corner. The resulting line-out was secured and the maul rampaged over for a try. Chard converted for a 10-5 lead.

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A late hit on Letherby resulted in a yellow card and with Chard down to 14 men, Hornets failed to add any points. Instead, Chard gained a line-out and the resulting maul led to a try as the visitors led 17-5 at half-time.

The first 10 minutes of the second half saw Hornets’ strongest period of the match. First Jones slotted a monster penalty kick from inside his own half and then a well-worked first phase move from a scrum saw Jones smash his way over from close range. Jones added the conversion and the score was back to 17-15.

However, that was as close as Hornets got as the Chard pack again cranked up the pressure. The visitors failed to make touch from a penalty and Chard immediately ran the ball back and the resulting pressure led to indiscipline and first Grimes and then Chase saw yellow and Hornets were down to 13 men.

With the Chard pack already dominant, Hornets defended valiantly but could not keep the Chard maul at bay. First the forwards rampaged over for a try and then they released the ball wide for the killer try in the corner

This was a hard fought game for Hornets and an indication that there are hard games ahead if Hornets are going to keep up their title challenge. However, despite the defeat, they maintained second place in the league due to St Austell slipping to defeat against Thornbury.

Hornets now have a week off to regroup in advance of three homes games on the trot during February, three games that may define their season.

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