Hornets hail bonus point win in South West Premier opener
- Credit: James Wain Photography
Hornets began the 2021-22 season with a 39-24 bonus-point win over Ivybridge in the South West Premier.
Having missed a whole season due to the pandemic, club captain Matt Parker led the side out for the first time at The Nest and they got off to a great start.
Charlie Carter slotted a penalty from in front of the posts to open the scoring and added a second soon after for a 6-0 lead.
Ivybridge then went on the attack but were met by aggressive tackling by Adam Francis and Danny Bailey, with the Hornets pack driving them off the ball at a five-metre scrum.
Ayden Chenoweth stole lineout ball and Hayden Tuttiett spun it out to the backs, who worked it upfield before second row Bailey Jackson went through a gap for the first try of the campaign.
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Carter's conversion made it 13-0 and Hornets continued to attack as the half ended, with Danny Bailey making a break to set the forwards rolling and then finishing off the move after more phases.
Another Carter conversion opened up a 20-point gap at half time, but Ivybridge hit back after the restart with a try, with the conversion charged down by Ozzy James.
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The visitors received a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on and Hornets head coach Jon Richardson sent Jon Roberts and Gene Norris on for their debuts, alongside the returning Kieran Ward.
After Ward won the resulting scrum, the ball was moved to Norris who went through the defence and was stopped just short of the line, before James took the pass to go over.
A converted try from Ivybridge made it 25-12, but Hornets went back on the attack as Tommy Bailey offloaded to brother Danny, who put Bailey Jackson over for the bonus-point try, converted by Carter.
Fly-half Jack Martin trotted over for another converted try soon after, before Ivybridge ran in two late scores to collect a bonus point of their own.
Hornets head to Okehampton this weekend.
The seconds fielded a strong team with over 600 first-team appearances and claimed a fine Somerset Premier win at Avon, having lost 98-0 on their previous visit.
Meanwhile, the thirds took 26 players to the Cheddar festival for some friendly action ahead of their league campaign.