Hornets maintain top spot
Hornets held onto top spot with a hard-fought victory at Bristol Harlequins.
Bristol Harlequins 16 pts
Hornets 22 pts
HORNETS travelled to Bristol Harlequins looking to improve upon last week’s scrappy performance at Avon.
Hornets did not start well and Harlequins took the lead through a penalty. The visitors soon hit back with a try by Chase after good work by Hogarth. Captain Kent was shown a yellow card and Harlequins took a 6-5 lead into the break.
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The start of the second half saw Quins drive deep into Hornets territory and another infringement saw Hickery slot his third penalty of the day.
From a line-out close to the Harlequins line, the ball popped out for Cheeseborough to touch down. Leatherby added the conversion and Hornets were 12-9 in front.
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Another scrappy line-out drive saw Kent scramble over for a try, the kick was missed but Hornets had an eight point cushion and with three tries on the board, they went looking for the bonus point that would see them at least maintain top spot in the league, if only on points difference.
A turnover at the scrum allowed No 8 Griffiths to pick and go. The maul was set up and Kent spun off the back to cross for his second of the day, making amends somewhat for a yellow card earlier in the afternoon.
With time running out Quins produced the try of the day when they recycled well and used the line for full-back Ford to cross out wide, converted by Hickery to earn his team a losing bonus point.
On Saturday, Hornets entertain local rivals Burnham. Kick off is 2.30pm at The Nest.
Hornets 2nd XV 19 pts
Bristol Harlequins 17 pts
WITH the seconds playing at home, they had to win to go top of the league and maintain their undefeated run.
Harlequins crossed the line first, but Hornets replied with outstanding work at the breakdown by the back row of Snelling, Cox and Matson. A quick tap and go by Mounsden saw the ball passed along the line for Owens to touch down, converted by Ashfield.
An infringement at the breakdown saw Quins convert a penalty and take a three point lead at half-time.
After the break, the front row of Hedges, Whitford and Nash started to get the upper hand and hard running from Burrell, Holland and Vaughn led to Burrell scoring.
Good counter-attacking by Ashfield and Owens saw the winger cross the try line, with Ashfield adding the extras. Harlequins replied with an interception try, which put them two points behind.
A red card for a Quins player helped as Hornets held out for a 19-17 victory and claim top spot in the league table.