Hornets stretch unbeaten home record

Hornets 26 pts Berry Hill 22 pts - HORNETS stretched their unbeaten home league record to four with a hard-earned victory over their visitors from the Forest of Dean.

Hornets 26 pts

Berry Hill 22 pts

HORNETS stretched their unbeaten home league record to four with a hard-earned victory over their visitors from the Forest of Dean.

Missing key players Dave Bird and Darren Griffiths, the home side started brightly but the opening points came from a penalty by Berry Hill following a scrum infringement.

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Hornets were soon on equal terms when skipper Sam Lloyd-Jones landed a 35-metre penalty. Hornets' forwards were causing problems in the tight and following a turn-over, Chris Disney made good ground only for the move to break down by poor handling by the backs.

Excellent play by Nick Francis brought Hornets first try finished off by Jordan Kingman and the successful conversion took them into a 10-point to three lead. This was quickly increased by a further three points, kicked by Lloyd-Jones.

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Hornets' second try came courtesy of slick handling by the backs and was finished off by Lloyd-Jones who sliced through the Berry Hill defence to score wide out. The home side's third try followed a penetrating run by James Dibble who broke down the middle of the pitch and good passing between forwards and backs enabled Greg Speller to take the scoring pass.

With a commanding lead of 23 points to three, as in previous games, Hornets allowed the visitors back into the match and two quick tries gave them hope.

Hornets nerves were steadied by Lloyd-Jones' third penalty, but with Berry Hill growing ever more confident, they set up siege on Hornets' line and only brave defensive work, particularly by Nick Francis, kept them at bay.

Further intensive pressure by the Berry Hill forwards enabled them to cross for their third try to bring the scores ever closer at 26-22.

When the Devon exchange referee blew up minutes later, it was a relieved Hornets that left the pitch. Lessons have to be learned from the game, where for an hour Hornets played exciting and open rugby, but with games seemingly won, they allow their opponents back into the match in the last 20 minutes.

Is it a fitness problem or is it a lack of experience knowing when to play percentage rugby in their opponents' half. Certainly there were many positives in this performance and together with their Combination Cup win over Thornbury recently, hopes are high that they can continue to climb the league table.

On Saturday, they visit Burnham on the first occasion the clubs have ever met in a league match.

Chew Valley 2nds 30 pts

Hornets RFC 3rds 12

HORNETS arrived at their away fixture too late to organise fully and it showed in the first half when the home side scored in the first couple of minutes.

Hornets, still undeterred, tried to find their rhythm and were eventually rewarded when Connor Hull assisted Jamie Nicholson to score their first try. Unfortunately Chew Valley continued to dominate much of the first half to score three tries before the break.

The second half saw Hornets step up a gear despite having five injuries and eventually playing with only 14 players on the pitch. However the players who continued and the substitutions made carried on with plenty of passion and in the dying minutes went over the opposition try line four times, but only the last was allowed when debutant Stuart Bryson crashed over from a driving scrum, this was converted by Connor Hull.

A penalty awarded to Hornets in the last minute gave Connor a chance for extra points from just inside the home side's half-way line but was deemed not to be within the posts. Man of the match was Stuart Bryson.

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