Hornets secure pre-season victory with late try

Hornets scored a late try to secure a narrow victory in a pre-season friendly against Glamorgan Wanderers.

Hornets 28 pts

Glamorgan Wanderers 22 pts

HORNETS put their pre-season to the test when they entertained Glamorgan Wanderers at The Nest, in what was to prove a great workout ahead of their National League campaign.

The Welsh side play in Welsh Division 1 East, a comparative level to Hornets, and were fresh from a convincing win over Lydney, so they were sure to give Hornets the test they were looking for.

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The visitors started the stronger and nearly scored, but Kade Dillon pulled down an attacker in a last-gasp tackle. Glamorgan soon attacked again and this time won a penalty and elected to kick for goal and a 3-0 lead.

Having gained their composure, Hornets wrestled their way into the game. Courtney Harris won clean ball at the line-out and the ball was moved quickly through Craig Nicholls and Danny Bailey to Charlie Carter, who burst through a gap and sprinted over for the opening try. Jermaine Jones converted for a 7-3 lead.

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Hornets continued on the front foot and when Glamorgan lost a man to the sin bin for a punch, Hornets looked to be getting on top. However, it was the visitors who scored next to take the lead.

The visitors now had the bit between their teeth and Hornets for once, seemed to be taking a backward step as the Welsh side turned up the pressure and this led to a further try for the visitors and a 7-15 half-time lead.

Hornets regained their focus as they started the second have with much more pace and a direct approach. Sean Disney who came on at the break, led the way with two incisive breaks and offloads which led to a penalty, a line-out and a driving maul, which saw Sony Haines crash over to score. Jones again converted.

Almost immediately, Hornets turned over line-out ball in their own 22 and Joe Gadd, back after missing most of last season through injury, carried towards halfway, offloaded to Bailey, who immediately fed Carter.

He made 50 metres and kicked towards the try line. The defence could only clear the ball over their own dead ball line and the resulting scrum saw a pushover try for the home side. Jones converted and now the home side had a 21-15 lead.

However, Glamorgan surged back into the game and scored a try of their own to make the score 21-22. With Hornets under a significant amount of pressure they were suddenly wobbling and first Adam Francis and then Jones were shown yellow cards to reduce the home side to 13 men.

The character really showed through for the next 10 minutes with Glamorgan camped on the Hornets try line, but unable to force their way over it.

Then with the game drawing to a close, Sam Balkham showed his pace to break the line on his own 22 and race clear. He was dragged down short, but the ball was quickly recycled and moved wide where Jones crashed over and despite a pile of bodies was adjudged to have touched the ball down for a try.

He then slotted his fourth conversion of the afternoon from out wide to give Hornets a winning lead of 28-22 and an impressive win against a strong team.

Hornets will be pleased with a tough work out which tested them all over the field and in some difficult match situations. They now move on to next week which sees their pre-season preparation continue, firstly with a Development squad fixture at Yatton tonight (Thursday) and another tough match the following day against Clifton, where the game will kick off at 7.30pm under Clifton’s lights.

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