Hornets register bonus point victory at home

Hornets v Old Centralians.

Hornets v Old Centralians. - Credit: Archant

Hornets registered a solid bonus point victory at home to Old Centralians.

Hornets 27 pts

Old Centralians 0 pts

Hornets found themselves wading through the mud again, but this time their main pitch was playable and they were not the team frustrated by the conditions, putting in a strong first-half performance to register a bonus point win.

The hosts started well, having the best of the early exchanges. An early line-out was thrown short to Conor Baker, who made good ground and an early try looked likely only for James Letherby to held up over the line.

Hornets continued the pressure with Chris Francis making a good break and the forwards taking control in the loose and driving over in the corner for Sonny Haines to score.

Old Cents made inroads into Hornets’ 22 from the kick-off, but a massive clearance kick by Joseph Gadd saw Hornets back on the ascendency. The resulting line-out was spoilt by Hornets and Kieran Ward first charged down the clearance kick and then pounced on the loose ball to score.

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The next try came when Gadd scooped the ball up, took contact and set the ball for Sean Disney. He cleverly kicked down the blind side and Charlie Carter won the foot race, dribbled the ball past the last defender, picked up the ball and stretched over in the corner.

This time Kieran Hill converted and with 20 minutes on the clock, Hornets led 17-0 and were starting to look comfortable.

Hornets thought they had scored again moments later, but the final pass to Ben Fry was adjudged to have been forward. Disney put in a great clearance kick to touch and Hornets turned over the line-out and Disney was held up over the line.

The resulting scrum was heading to the line with Matthew Parker controlling the ball at the base. A penalty was awarded and taken quickly, only for the pass to be forward. However, the forwards again put the power on in the scrum and when the ball spilled out, Francis pounced to score the bonus point try.

With half-time approaching the home pack were starting to get on top, with Dexter Nettleton and Joe Smith putting in great shifts and Courtney Harris working tirelessly in the loose.

A further score looked likely when Parker went on an incredible solo run, first sprinting from his 10-metre line and forging on into the 22 with three defenders hanging off him as he continued to make ground.

Gadd was on hand to move the ball to Carter who recycled quickly, only for it to be knocked on when a try looked likely.

The second half was a dogged affair dominated by the mud and windy conditions. Both sides had periods of possession, but regular errors made the game disjointed.

Hornets rang the changes first introducing Dave Vivian in the front row and Jack Gadd returning from a long lay-off at inside centre, and Joe Howe came for an impressive first team debut.

Despite the fresh legs and the majority of possession, the home side were unable to extend their lead until the 75th minute when another solid scrum saw Parker control the ball and then break off down the blind side, before feeding Disney who darted over to score and make the final score 27-0.

Another bonus point win is a positive outcome to the afternoon and keeps Hornets in touch with the teams above them, over whom they have games in hand.

They will also be pleased to have registered the win after having to make several changes and as the returning players look to regain their place in the side, the competition for places can only be good news for the club.

Old Reds visit The Nest on Saturday for a local derby that will go a long way to decide which of the local teams finishes the season in the highest league position.

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