Hornets suffer narrow defeat in quagmire conditions
- Credit: Archant
Hornets lost a narrow encounter in quagmire conditions at Lydney.
LYDNEY 12 pts
HORNETS 10 pts
In quagmire conditions at Lydney, Hornets threw everything they had at Lydney, but failed to find the decisive score that would have resulted in a memorable victory.
Hornets kicked off and the early stages saw a frantic period of play with both sides looking to move the ball in difficult conditions and both sides conceding early penalties.
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The Hornets’ pack started strongly at the scrum and put down a marker early on that they meant business, a marker that would lead to increasing dominance at the set piece as the game wore on.
The first 15 minutes saw the visitors open the scoring with a penalty from Kieron Hill, while Jermaine Jones and Charlie Carter made good breaks out wide before another scrum was won by the visiting pack.
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However, despite the early pressure Hornets were unable to take advantage of the early opportunities and as the half wore on their inability to add further points would prove to be vital to the outcome of the game.
With half-time approaching, Hornets started to lose their earlier intensity and allowed Lydney a period of pressure of their own.
With the visitors again on the front foot in the scrum, Lydney managed to get the ball out and their scrum-half made a smart break down the wing and when Hornets knocked on at the breakdown, Lydney again won their own scrum and the scrum-half sneaked over to score.
With five minutes to go to the break, both sets of players were struggling to keep their feet, let alone play attractive rugby. With Lydney pressed back in their own half, they suddenly were able to break into the Hornets’ half.
A try looked likely, but Ross Cheeseborough put in a try saving tackle. The ball was clearly spilled forward as a result of the tackle, but to the amazement of both sets of players, the referee thought otherwise, allowed play to continue and Lydney score for a 12-3 half-time lead.
The second half started as a scrappy affair and it was Lydney who had the early pressure. Hornets cleared their lines on 50 minutes when a kick was chased down by Charlie Carter.
A penalty was awarded and Hornets kicked to the corner. The line-out resulted in a driving maul and the ball was released to the backs, who were able to implement a training ground move which saw Hill pull the ball back to Joseph Gadd, who carved out a gap in the defence to ghost over unopposed. Hill converted to make the score 12-10.
With conditions underfoot getting even worse, the game degenerated into a game of kick tennis, with neither side being able to find an additional score and much of the game being played out in the midfield.
As the game entered the last five minutes, Hornets had a series of scrums within striking distance of the Lydney line. However, despite the Hornets pack dominating each of the scrums and marching the home pack backwards, the referee seemed reluctant to award a penalty and the visitors were turned over amongst the pile of bodies that resulted from the collapsing scrum.
With the game ending 12-10, Hornets will be frustrated at leaving chances out on the field, but on reflection will take some satisfaction from taking a losing bonus point from what is renowned as a fortress for Lydney.
Attention will now turn to Saturday’s important game at home to Bournemouth. A game Hornets will need to win if they are going to keep in touch with the league leaders.