Hornets return home with hard-fought victory

Hornets v Chippenham.

Hornets v Chippenham. - Credit: Archant

Hornets overcame a stiff challenge, returning home from Gloucester with a hard-fought victory.

Old Centralians 3 pts

Hornets 25 pts

AFTER getting back to winning ways last week, Hornets knew they would face another stiff challenge on their away trip to Gloucester to play Old Centralians.

Hornets, playing downhill and with the wind behind them in the first-half, started brightly and immediately implemented their game plan of kicking to the corner.

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An early penalty resulted but they could not secure they line-out in windy conditions. A further penalty quickly followed and this time Jermaine Jones was successful.

Old Cents then got their driving maul working and for periods looked dangerous. Hornets were able to repel the drives and broke away to win a further penalty which Jones again put over for a 6-0 lead.

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Hornets now started to impose themselves in the pack and two tremendous scrums saw the home forwards shoved back 15 metres, but the line-out form the resulting penalty went astray and Old Cents were able to clear their lines. They then pulled a penalty back of their own.

With Old Cents battling their way back into the game, Hornets took a quick line-out and James Letherby cleverly kicked to the corner. Kieran Ward was now finding his range and the line-out was secured and a maul formed.

The pack drove towards the line it was Ward who broke from the back to crash over for the first try, converted by Jones.

Letherby was now managing the game well and he again kicked along the ground to the corner. This time Old Cents made a mess of their line-out and Kade Dillon crashed over to give Hornets a useful 18-3 lead.

Again Hornets used the same tactic of pegging Old Cents back into the corner. This time their backs panicked and found themselves forced over their own line, where Jones tackled the last defender and forced a five-metre scrum.

The resulting scrum was controlled and the ball moved quickly along the line for Joseph Gadd to slide through a gap to score. Jones again converted for a half-time lead of 25-3.

The second half was a game of two sieges, but alas no more points. The early part of the half saw Old Cents have their best part of the game. Their forwards seemed to have found a second wind and they spent 15 minutes pounding the Hornets line.

Sonny Haines, Matt Parker and Dillon all saw lots of ball and repeatedly tried to punch holes in the home defence. On the hour, Hornets bought on reinforcements in the shape of Chris Francis and Joe Smith in place of Ward and Dexter Nettleton, who had both put in great shifts, but still Hornets cold not breach the defence.

Right at the end it looked like the bonus point try would be scored, but again the home defence held firm.

However, in hindsight, Hornets will be pleased with the result, a win away from home in difficult conditions which sees them climb the table to fifth place.

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