Hornets juniors reach the Bristol Combination Cup final

Junior Rugby Hornetsv North Bristol Under 17s

Junior Rugby Hornetsv North Bristol Under 17s - Credit: Archant

Hornets Under-17s reached the final of the Bristol Junior Combination Cup with victory over North Bristol.

HORNETS Under-17s defeated North Bristol 29-19 to reach the final of Bristol Junior Combination Cup.

They had to work hard to turn around a 12-point deficit at half-time to secure the first-ever final for this set of lads.

The first-half was a tense affair and North Bristol were first to settle with a converted try. Hornets fought back and the pressure paid off when Billy Phillips touched down, duly converted by Jordan Humphris.

The home side could not find any rhythm and were punished twice more before the break to leave them 19-7 behind.

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The introduction of a quartet of Under-16s at the break changed the shape of the team, and set the platform for a superb second half performance, which saw North Bristol unable to score again.

Aaron Fry finished off a team try under the posts following a series of penalties on 42 minutes and Aedan Coleman drew the sides level, while both teams were reduced to 14 men. Humphris nudged Hornets in front with the third of his four conversions.

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The try of the game and the one which sealed the victory, came on 66 minutes. Defending a line-out on their own five-metre line, Sam Aplin stole the ball and it was worked back for Humphris to kick clear from inside the goal area.

Leon Counsell chased the kick and collected the ball before off-loading to Paddy Holyday, who made ground, before playing in Fry to run in his second try of the game and secure a place in the final against Avonvale.

The Under-13s made the short trip to Winscombe for a friendly in excellent conditions.

All the work in training is now starting to pay off as an early breakaway Hornets move resulted in a try for Toby under the posts, which was converted by Lawrence.

Hornets were also winning the scrums and their defence was much improved with new player Ricky putting in some big hits. The Hornets excitement got the better of them at times and Winscombe twice got the ball out wide to score down the wing.

At half-time the game was in the balance, but Hornets were reduced to 14 players when a head injury forced Toby off for the rest of the game.

Winscombe took advantage with further tries, but Hornets kept plugging away. Some excellent kicks by Lewis and Sol resulted in some Winscombe knock-ons and Hornets took full advantage of one when Lewis burst through to touch down between the posts, converted by Lawrence.

Despite losing the game, Hornets played their best game so far this season.

The Under-16s travelled to Taunton knowing that a step-up in performance was needed to beat a good Taunton team.

Hornets laid down the gauntlet early on and good pressure from the kick-off put Taunton on the back foot.

Hancock, Cocking and Fitzpatrick put pressure on the front row and with a clean heel, Blake Williams delivered the perfect pass to his cousin Keane Williams to set the backs into action and text book passing along the line saw Chamberlain score the first try, converted by Keane.

Foroughi and Dolcezza were enjoying the open spaces and when needed, the whole back line was on hand to knock over and snuff out any attack. Richardson, Francis and No 8 Mohide were dangerous in the loose and dynamic in set play.

After the break, Hornets asserted some dominance both at the ruck and on several occasions, mauled Taunton backwards at a rate of knots.

Hornets scored again when Richardson stole a Taunton line-out and delivered the pass to Taylor while still in the air. The ball was then shipped at speed through the back line and Turner delivered the perfect pass to the flying Higgins to scorch over for a fantastic try.

Another well-executed line-out and subsequent drive by Dover and Eades, the ball was held up just short, but Taylor spotted the line and placed the ball over for another try.

The restarts were solid and returned to Taunton’s territory and Higgins put the ball on a plate for Turner to finish another great sequence of play. Taunton were now tiring, but a tap penalty saw Richardson and Holyday exchange passes and Holyday touched down, converted by Keane.

Again from the restart, Hornets put pressure on Taunton. Another penalty quickly taken by Cocking saw him cross and give Keane an easy conversion to make the final score 36-0.

WESTON Under-13s hosted a depleted Bath side, who were missing six key players to the Somerset development squad.

With Weston also missing players, a close game was expected. However, from the start it was Weston who piled on the pressure, scoring almost immediately with Lewis Paterson running in his first of the day.

With the Weston forwards dominating most of the play, Harry Strutt and Reef Morton continually drove through the Bath pack to score a try each. Tireless work from Joe Connolly and Brook Chamberlain ensured Bath were seeing little of the ball.

In the second half, Tom Biggs proved a key link as Weston started to release the backs to devastating effect.

Kyron Pearce powered through to score under the posts, followed by another from Strutt, before Paterson added another two. Excellent kicking from Paterson converted six of the tries with a consolation score from Bath giving a 47-7 final score and something for the Somerset development squad to think about.

Man of the match went to Joe Connolly.

WINSCOMBE Under-16s hosted St Mary’s Old Boys and coasted to a comfortable 43-5 victory.

They opened their account in the first few minutes with a great team effort as the ball was passed along the line out to Joe Duran on the wing, who ran through to score from near halfway. Scrum-half Will Macarthur secured the conversion.

Winscombe launched another attack as full-back Pat Merryfield collected the ball and gained valuable ground for Combe, running through several defenders. Winscombe drove on and Callum Edwards was able to pick up and go over for the try.

Soon after the restart, St Mary’s mounted an attack and caught Combe napping as they scored a try. However, Winscombe were soon in control again as Merryfield set up Joe Hartshorne for another Winscombe try. Hartshorne was soon on the score sheet again, converted by Macarthur.

After the break, Thomas Amer scored a fine try, soon followed by a score for Sam White, after good work by Fin Mayo. The final try was scored by and converted by Macarthur.

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