Hornets slip to fifth after defeat

Charley Carter slides over to score for Hornets.

Charley Carter slides over to score for Hornets. - Credit: Archant

Hornets lost their way at Old Centralians in a battle for third place in National League 3 South West.

Old Centralians 44 pts

Hornets 17 pts

HORNETS lost their way in what could prove to be the play-off for third place in National League 3 South West.

The result saw Hornets slip to fifth in the league, while Old Cents leapfrog them into third. However, there is still all to play for with only three points separating the teams in third to sixth place in the table.

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Hornets started well scoring by two early tries. The first saw Mike Parker, returning to the side after a period out, charge through the defence and win a penalty. The ball was kicked to touch and the resulting maul saw Alex Chase crash over to score.

Parker was also involved in the second, again making good ground and winning a penalty and this time the ball was moved wide through Sean Disney, Sam Balkham and then Charlie Carter, who scored in the corner for a 10-0 lead.

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The early exchanges looked ominous for Old Cents, but having registered the early scores, Hornets lost their way and allowed Old Cents back into the game, firstly through a try as a result of casual defending and a charged down clearance and then a penalty which brought the score back to 10-8.

Hornets failed to respond and Old Cents, having eased themselves back into the game, were now in the ascendency and soon took the lead through a second try and almost immediately a third which gave them a 10-22 lead at half-time.

The second half saw a short Hornets revival and while Old Cents lost a man to a yellow card, Matt Cornish broke the line to get the visitors back into the game with a try duly converted by Disney.

However, that proved to be Hornets last resistance. First Chris Francis saw yellow and later in the half, James Dibble was binned for a dangerous tackle.

Meanwhile, Hornets’ character which proved so important last week in the victory at Bracknell, was worrying absent and that, combined with what appeared to be a lack of leadership throughout the squad when things started to get tough.

Old Cents ran riot in the last quarter of the game, adding a further four tries and clocking up a points total that started to look embarrassing for the visitors.

A poor performance on the day by Hornets and far from ideal preparation for which should prove to be the biggest occasion of the season, if not the clubs history, when Hornets welcome neighbours Weston to The Nest next week for the local derby.

Having won the game earlier in the season at Weston in front of a massive 2,500 crowd, Hornets will be hoping to repeat the result and will be hoping for a similar crowd.

Weston have been performing well over recent weeks and Hornets will need to get their preparation right for what will be tough encounter, despite Weston’s relegation to South West One next season being confirmed when others results went against them.

Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm and a large crowd is expected to arrive early and enjoy the game and some Hornets hospitality to celebrate what has been a tremendous season for the club.

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