Hornets retain Somerset Cup after extra time
- Credit: Archant
Hornets retained the Somerset Cup after an epic Somerset Cup final against Weston, which went into extra time.
Weston 27 pts
Hornets 31 pts
(After extra time)
A huge crowd witnessed a spectacle that was not only a credit to both sides, but to the town and a game befitting of the Somerset Cup final, with Hornets running out narrow winners after extra time.
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Weston took the lead within two minutes when centre Kirk Middlemiss was taken out illegally and fly-half Glenn Dickson slotted the penalty. However, the fly-half left the field shortly after with a recurrence of a hamstring injury to be replaced by Dan Lomax.
Hornets hit back and took the lead through centre Adam Francis after a sustained passage of play, which ended with Francis making a tremendous line break to cross the line.
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With Hornets on the offensive, Weston winger Matt Watkins saw yellow through a case of mistaken identity after a high tackle. Hornets stretched their lead when prop Connor Baker took advantage of some shoddy defence to cross.
Weston hit back when captain George Sparks, who was outstanding all night, made a break and after Middlemiss and hooker Mike Hocking carried the move on, Lomax went through a gap to cut the lead. Weston went into half-time with a 14-10 lead through two Lomax penalties.
The second half was no less relentless than the first. Weston gave a penalty away and Hornets elected to kick to the corner. From the catch and drive that followed, blindside flanker Chris Francis, who also had an excellent game scored and this time fly-half James Letherby converted to give Hornets a three-point lead.
With Hornets No 8 Matt Parker having a storming game, they increased their lead when Letherby converted his own well-taken try to put further distance to the score. Weston however hit back and from a Lomax kick to the corner following a penalty, flanker Rich Bignell, who was also excellent throughout, crossed to put Weston within five points.
Towards the end of full-time, this pulsating encounter took another twist when Weston scrum-half Hayden Tuttiett evened up the tie and the score remained until the end of normal time.
Extra time arrived and two very tired teams who had given their all took to the field for another 20 minutes. Weston took the lead through a Lomax penalty, but after Weston flanker Paul Morrissey was yellow carded, Hornets lock Courtney Harris scored the winning try, which Leatherby converted to secure the cup for Hornets.
For Weston, Sparks and Bignell were excellent throughout, as were Middlemiss, Ash Russell and Hocking.
For Hornets, scrum-half Sean Disney was also outstanding throughout, as was winger Charlie Carter, flanker Chris Francis and man of the match Matt Parker.