Hornets reach Combination Cup final after hard-fought battle
- Credit: Archant
Hornets Under-16s reached the Combination Cup final after defeating Avon 24-17.
HORNETS Under-16s moved into the Combination Cup final for the second year running as they overcame Avon 24-17 in a hard-fought game of rugby.
After helping the Under-17s to a cup final the week before, the 16s had a great chance to put themselves into a final of their own. Hornets found themselves behind as Avon sprang into action, but fine work by Richardson and Bate in the line-outs, followed by a penalty, quickly taken by Solomon, saw Richardson touch down.
A great restart taken by Eades which was one of many as the game progressed. Fitzpatrick was superb against a huge prop and Cocking and Hancock were more than equal to their opponents.
Solomon launched an attack and good hands found Holyday out wide with space and he rounded the posts to make an easy conversion for Humphris. Hornets finished a fine first-half when Solomon was held up just short, but Chamberlain was on hand to score, converted by Humphris.
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Avon stepped up a gear in the second half, their big front row were running at smaller opposition, but were being cut down by the likes of Blake Williams, Richardson, Francis and Bate.
Avon tried to attack from deep, but when their winger started to run, he took his eye off the ball and was pick-pocketed by Constable, who surged over.
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Avon again launched attacks from everywhere and scored two well-deserved tries. Now with only a seven-point lead, Hornets’ solid defence and a try-saving tap tackle by Richardson saw them through to the final.
The Under-13s made the long trip to Midsomer Norton in the Combination Cup.
It was an amazing tale of two halves as Norton had the best of the first-half, as Hornets again got sucked in to the middle of the pitch and they were punished when Norton scored tries out wide.
Hornets were not helped by some missed tackles and the pacy Norton wingers. At half-time, a strong team talk changed the game.
Hornets started to win the scrums and ruck much better with Tom Hooper touching down from a rolling maul. Immediately from the Norton re-start, Hooper ran through Norton evading many tackles and scored again.
Lewis and Lawrence missed the difficult conversions, but Hornets had their tails up. Norton scored two more tries, but Hornets won the second half and were better in all areas. Tom was man of the match for his tries and for his big tackles throughout the game. Hornets lost the game, but it was much closer than the 2-7 try scoreline suggests.
The Under-9s made the journey south to Taunton and were greeted by sunshine and perfect conditions for rugby.
With both squads approaching 25 players, six games over two pitches were played and Hornets started slowly. After that, Hornets got into their stride and showed improvements in all areas.
As the games progressed, the rugby improved and both squads being forced to work hard for tries and showing some excellent support play in glimpses.
Overall, Hornets were no way near their best and just about did enough to keep up with a strong Taunton squad with some big players and keep the try count about level across the six games
WESTON Under-11s entertained a well-drilled Minehead team and played two outstanding games of rugby.
The first game did not start well for Weston and within the first five minutes, found themselves 2-0 down, but they started to find some rhythm. Danny was first to hit back with a fine run and Sam got on the score sheet.
Half-time came quickly and the score was 2-2. Weston came out after the break fired up and soon crossed the try line again with some good work from Tom, Robbie and Jude at the breakdown.
Olly fed Danny a great ball to pass the ball inside for George to go smashing over the line. Weston carried on dominating with Sam and Danny getting on the score sheet again, making the final score 5-3 to Weston.
The second game was a lot tighter and both teams attacked and defended well. Minehead scored first, only to be cancelled out with another try from Danny. Weston again attacked through Brett, Sam C and Riley.
Olly played well to get the ball out to Weston’s fliers and managed to get the ball wide to Sam, who again showed his speed bursting through the Minehead defence to score a great try.
Weston kept pushing until the end of the game and new lad John had a great game. When the final whistle went, Weston had just done enough to win 5-4.
Two tries each from Alfie Calcutt and Tom Burge, dissected by another from Dylan Way and consistent kicking from Jackson Norris, provided the points for Weston Under-12s.
But several more players need a mention too. Owen Lockyer, Isaac Bliss, Ciaran Kelman, Matthew James and Dylan Way were excellent in defence. With the ball in hand Jamie Meaden and Lottie Dadds made consistent yardage and Matty Coombes’ unselfish play were the individual highlights. Star player was Tom Burge.
The Under-6/7s were up against Minehead, who were strong opposition, but Weston’s outstanding teamwork saw some great tries. Strong attacking running from Fred Sweet split the defence, which enabled Ciaran Cawson to score some cracking tries.
Fred Cox was dynamic on the right, while Frankie Moore and Oscar Crompton held the defensive line well, taking some great tags against the opposition.
Some great passing from Cawson enabled Harrison Lees to score a fantastic try, while Ciaran sent a long pass through to Frankie, who touched down, finishing the closely-fought game.
The Under-7s hosted an organised Minehead side. The first game saw Weston dominate with some strong attacking moves from Ashleigh and Corey with several tries apiece.
There was great support from Oliver and Samuel, who also got on the scoresheet, but man of the match went to Charlie, who was well disciplined with ball in hand and supported well.
Minehead to their credit had some good moves and proved a handful towards the end, but Weston were worthy victors.
The second game was a good all-round performance from both sides. Will proved a handful to the opposition with some fine attacking moves and support from Harry, Jolly and Fred.
Jolly ran some good lines and Enzo was the pick of the rest in defence with some great tagging.
The Under-6s enjoyed two close games against Minehead. They won the first game 5-4, but lost the next 4-6.
Within the games, Daisy Crompton, Matthew and Edward Goldie were up front, making it extremely hard for Minehead to get through their defence, when they did manage to get through, Thomas Shirlow, Hayden Arnold and Jacob Rumble at the back as counter defence.
Daisy Crompton, Matthew and Edward Goldie all scored a couple good tries each, with some great assisting from Thomas Shirlow, Jacob Rumble and Hayden Arnold.
The Under-9s faced Minehead, who brought along a big and competitive squad. The Weston lads showed great energy and heart and managed to more than hold their own and put in impressive performances by drawing the first game five-all and winning the second game 6-5.
Strong running by Sam Slingsby for the opening try set the tone for the day, as Ben Donachie and William Bamsey continued to create holes in the Minehead defence. A strong run by Henry Ward created the overlap for Remo Harness to finish with a great team try in the corner.
With the game in balance, Billy Charlton and Harry Collard tackled hard for Raph Wigmore to race the length of the pitch for a superb try that sealed the draw.
The second game was more Weston, with Aaron Cocking dancing through the defence on numerous occasions and creating space for Henry Ward and Tom Collard to sprint in from distance.
However, Weston saved the best try till last, with Harry a constant pain for the Minehead attack tackling hard and creating a turnover. The ball was picked up and passed through many pairs of hands - Billy, Aaron, Tom, Ben and Sam before William Bamsey scored a great team try.
The Under-13s travelled to Minehead looking for their first away win of the season. In a repeat of last week, it was Weston who applied the pressure from the kick-off as the Weston backs used the sloping pitch to their advantage.
Kyron Pearce and Lewis Paterson used their pace to carve through the Minehead defence, each scoring in the corner, before some poor discipline in the Minehead pack gave away a penalty try in the same spot.
With the Weston forwards dominating, Ryan Jones released the ball to Harry Strutt who drove clean through to the line. With Weston comfortably in control, there was controversy on the stroke of half-time as Minehead were awarded a penalty try after Weston put the ball in touch.
The battle continued in the second half with each of the forwards taking it in turns to drive a way through the Minehead pack. It wasn’t long before Reef Morton found the line, followed shortly after by Brook Chamberlain, before Dom Marshall put the result beyond all doubt as his mesmerising run ended under the posts, with Paterson adding the conversion to finish.
Final score was 39-5 to Weston, with the man of the match going to Harry Strutt.
The Under-8s played host to Minehead and the Weston blues demonstrated their attacking flair. However, their defence proved to be their weakness, which led them to lose their first match and draw their second.
In the first game, the blues did not really get going and it was left to stalwarts JJ Weall and Jayden Hood to secure the defence and Sam Goodare to score a couple of great tries to keep the opposition in sight. However, Minehead were eventual winners 10-5.
In the second game however, the side came alive with newcomer Shawn Shergold showing great improvement, alongside Thomas Withers. Dominic Hawkins continues to demonstrate his versatility, while Finley Simpson chipped in with a good try.
Harry Wills backed up his debutant performance of last week with a couple of tries, but it was the emergence of Greg Cunnington which really caught the eye. Undoubtedly the star, Greg tagged brilliantly and added four tries to lead the side to a high-scoring draw at 11-11.
Meanwhile, the Weston red team were securing their first back-to-back wins of the season with great performances from the whole of the side.
In the first game, a strong Minehead side were forced into a few early errors which gave Weston the advantage. Leon Beard led from the front with strong tagging and explosive running which saw him break clear on four separate occasions for tries.
Jack Hobbs showed some strong running, while Harry Gadson was awesome in defence with inspired tagging. At the end, Weston were too strong for their opponents and ran out 7-4 winners.
In their second game, Weston again played some wonderful team rugby, supporting well and notably Jack Groom showed just how to take the ball on the run.
Roo Beckett showed a lovely step to score, while an audacious sidestep from Ollie Dadds had everyone going the wrong way as he sprinted over for a try. Ollie also led the tag count, supported by Harry Gadson, Luke Buttery and Harvey Mount.
It was Luke though that, with his first try for the club, secured the win with a great supporting run as Weston won 8-7.
HAVING been knocked out of the Bristol Combination Cup in the first round by a formidable Bath team, Winscombe Under-16s progressed to the Plate competition, where they defeated Thornbury 56-10.
Winscombe took the lead when were awarded a penalty and the ball was passed out to Joe Hartshorne, who weaved his way through the Thornbury defence to touch down.
Further good play from Combe followed as Fin Mayo crashed though the Thornbury defence before George Prewett powered though to score Winscombe’s second.
After the restart, Sam White gained good ground for Combe, who maintained control and progressed up the field until Hartshorne was able to run though and score Combe’s third try and his second of the morning.
The second half saw several changes to the Winscombe team and this initially unsettled the home side and they allowed Thornbury to run through and score. However Winscombe soon settled and Callum Edwards was able to break away and score.
Combe were soon on the score sheet again when George Harrison passed the ball out to Joe Duran, who sprinted down the wing to touch down. After the restart, good play led to Prewett to drive over the Thornbury line.
Winscombe weren’t finished yet, full-back Pat Merryfield collected the ball from well within his own half and made good progress through the Thornbury defence. The ball then found its way to Thomas Amer, who ran though to score.
Winscombe’s final score came from new player Sam Gwyn, who crossed for his first try for the club, following another good run from Merryfield and good handling from several other players.
Special mention must also go to stand-in scrum-half Will Macarthur for successfully converting every try.