League and cup success for Hornets

HORNETS enjoyed a successful weekend, defeating St Bernadette’s in the league on Saturday and Midsomer Norton in the Somerset Vase on Sunday.

HORNETS enjoyed a successful weekend, defeating St Bernadette’s in the league on Saturday and Midsomer Norton in the Somerset Vase on Sunday.

Saturday saw the arrival of St Bernadette’s to Hornets for a Somerset Premier League clash and confidence was high thanks to the recent run of high scoring victories.

Unfortunately however the conditions stole the show and what resulted was a lacklustre performance. There were some highlights though as Paul Sheppard passed 100 points for the season with a fine hat-trick of tries and the team secured a bonus point victory to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Hornets opened the scoring after two minutes when a break from Sean Kent saw the ball spun out wide for Sheppard to round his opposite number and score out wide. Bernadette’s fought back to win a penalty which was converted.

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The hosts scored next when quick ball from a maul was kicked wide by Biddle and Sheppard caught the ball, fought off the defender and scored his second, Lloyd-Jones converted.

He completed his hat-trick 10 minutes later. With the visitors on the attack and deep in the Hornets 22, the forwards turned over the ball and worked back upfield. With Ash Kinchant breaking through the defence, the ball was spun out through the backs to Sheppard, who ran in unopposed for a try close to the sticks. Lloyd-Jones again converted.

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A final score was recorded just before half-time. With Bernadette’s down to 14 men, following the sin binning of their No 7 for punching, Hornets opted to kick the penalty to touch five metres from the line.

The line-out was won well by Phil Hogarth and driven over by the pack for Harry Nash to touch down. Lloyd-Jones missed the extras, but the bonus point was achieved and they led 22-3 at the break.

The second half deteriorated dramatically as the conditions under foot worsened. The only score was a try for Lloyd-Jones, which he finished well following a blindside move off the scrum.

This was far from a vintage performance but heart has to be taken from the fact that the team played poorly, but still came away with maximum points.

Hornets 26 pts

Midsomer Norton 13 pts

SUNDAY saw the 1st XV play their second game of the weekend when they faced Midsomer Norton in the Somerset Vase.

Norton started the stronger and Hornets found themselves in unfamiliar territory after just five minutes when they fell behind to a penalty. Hornets hit back and their attacking play caused problems in the Norton ranks which led to them conceding a number of free kicks in range of their line.

One such incident led to the first try and saw a forward drive to within a yard of the line before Sonny Haines peeled off the back and scored. Sam Lloyd-Jones added the extras.

Three minutes later and Hornets again punished the visitor’s lack of discipline, this time the penalty was kicked to touch about 15 metres out. The ball was caught and released to the backs. Four phases of play later and No 8 Greg Speller crashed through the last line of defence to score the second out wide.

Norton had the better of the rest of the half as they scored 10 unanswered points to end the half with a 13-12 lead.

The break gave the home side a chance to make some changes and saw Phil Hogarth and James Leatherby, making his debut, enter the fray in place of Cheeseborough and Hewlett. This change was followed a minute into the second half when Neil Chenoweth had to be replaced by Harry Nash for a suspected shoulder dislocation.

The second period was tight with neither side wanting to make an error, but after 27 minutes Hornets managed to break the deadlock. Finally deciding that the 10-man approach was not working, Hornets spun the ball out again for the first time since Speller scored.

As with the previous occasion, the backs caused problems for the opposition defence and with the forwards on hand to support, the ball found its way to Matt Parker for the score. Lloyd-Jones added the extras and Hornets led again.

Hornets made more changes as Sam Holland made his debut to replace Fereday and Vinnicombe came on for Cornish. Hogarth sealed the victory in the final few minutes with his 14th try of the season, again converted by Lloyd-Jones.

Before the end Hornets were able to give a debut to Greg White as he replaced Sheridan and Ryan Hedges came on for Haines. But with the final whistle they had secured a semi-final spot thanks to a 26-13 victory.

On Saturday, Hornets take on Old Richians at home in the National Senior Vase and hope to remain unbeaten and still competing in all three competitions entered. Kick-off is at 2pm.

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