Hornets return from Bournemouth with fine victory
- Credit: Archant
Hornets returned from the long journey Bournemouth with a fine victory.
Bournemouth 10 pts
Hornets 33 pts
Hornets made the long trip to the south coast to face a Bournemouth side above them in the league and that had beaten them twice last year.
However, with the sun shining, the pitch in great condition and a strong side selected, Hornets were confident about getting a result.
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Within the first minute, Hornets were awarded a scrum on halfway and the front row of Conor Baker, Kieran Ward and Sonny Haines let their Bournemouth counterparts know they were in for a long afternoon as they were marched backwards and conceded a penalty.
From this, Hornets launched a relentless attack that eventually saw full-back Charlie Carter beat several defenders to score at the posts for a try he converted himself.
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Matt Parker starting his first game of the season carried well and with Ben Fry and Sean Disney guiding the ship, Hornets were soon pressing for a second score.
A mistake near the Bournemouth led to a scrum, with the result inevitable, the Hornets pack surged forward and Parker was left to claim an easy try that Carter converted.
Bournemouth though are a strong outfit and showed their credentials by first slotting a penalty and then a converted try after Hornets discipline at the breakdown let them down to make it 10-14 at the break.
Bournemouth started the second half the stronger, but some fine defence notably from Dan Ogden, Courtney Harris and Danny Bailey, meant Hornets were able to wrestle the momentum back.
When the ball was moved wide, the prolific Oscar James showed his finishing skills to score Hornets’ third try that was again converted by Carter.
The bonus point fourth try was secured after another Hornets attack led to a five-metre penalty and a Bournemouth forward being sent to the bin. Hornets elected to scrum and with Parker inches from scoring his second, the referee went to the posts to award Hornets a penalty try as the Bournemouth pack crumbled. Carter added the extras and the visitors looked comfortable at 10-28.
Sam Balkham’s injury replacement Connor Littlewood was sent to the bin for a shoulder charge and moments after his return, Ogden went for the same offence.
With 10 minutes left, Bournemouth attempted to stand off a Hornets driving line-out.
Captain Chris Francis spotted the opportunity and tore off towards the line and a desperate tackle saw him offload to the rampaging Harris, who in turn offloaded to the impressive Jack O’Malley, who claimed his first try for the club.
Unfortunately Carter could not keep his 100 per cent record for the day as the conversion narrowly missed. Ryan Barrow and Josh Hallett were brought into the fray to add some much needed energy as Hornets saw the game out.
Hornets will be pleased with this performance to back up their last league outing against Old Reds, the attack looked threatening throughout and with midfielders Danny Bailey and Adam Francis forging a promising partnership, the defence is looking strong.
This was the pack’s best performance to date and Disney showed great maturity in the 10 shirt to play in the right places.
On Saturday, Bracknell visit the Nest for the first time for a couple of seasons after playing in Nation 3 South East last year.