Disappointing defeat for Hornets

PUBLISHED: 15:48 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:48 28 November 2018

Hornets v Lydney.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Hornets v Lydney. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Hornets let slip a 17-0 lead to North Petherton, being pipped at the end by just two points.

Hornets 17 pts

North Petherton 19 pts

Hornets let a 17-0 lead slip, but still climbed one place in the table despite this disappointing defeat to North Petherton.

Hornets started brightly and the first try of the afternoon was one of the season’s best so far. Jordan Humphris returning to the starting line up at fly-half made a great break and put through an impressive grubber kick.

Ozzy James duly accepted the invitation to chase it and showed his blistering pace to outstrip the defence and touch down for a 5-0 lead.

The home side scored again through when Matt Parker crashed over to extend the lead to 10-0, but again the conversion was missed.

On 30 minutes Hornets scored their third try. Despite their scrum being forced backwards by the dominate North Petherton pack, the ball was quickly in and out of the scrum.

Parker charged to the line but this time the ball was stripped from him and Bailey Jackson was on hand to pick up the loose ball and crash over. This time Humphris converted and Hornets had what appeared to have convincing 17-0 lead.

However, North Petherton were starting to work out that they needed to keep the ball tight and their chance of getting back into the game was at scrum time where Hornets were struggling to hold their own.

The last few minutes of the first half saw Adam Francis penalised in front of the Hornets posts and the visitors electing for a scrum.

A series of penalties and reset scrums saw the Hornets pack on the back foot and North Petherton scored to pull the score back to 17-5 at the interval.

As the second half started there was a clear change in momentum in the game. North Petherton broke through early and were denied a try due to a tremendous last-ditch tackle from Charlie Carter.

The visitors settled in to use their scrum as much as they could. Hornets gave away a penalty in front of their posts and this started a 10-minute period which saw a series of scrums which Hornets desperately tried to repel.

Eventually a yellow card was shown to prop Ryan Hedges and then the referee’s patience ran out as he awarded a penalty try to make it 17-12.

Hornets cleared their lines but a series of poor decisions meant they looked to keep the ball tight rather than move it to the backs where they still held the advantage over the visitors.

When they did move the ball, the crowd could only watch in horror as the North Petherton full-back intercepted a flat pass and ran the length of the pitch to score. With the conversion the score was now 17-19 and that is how the game ended.

On the final whistle North Petherton were jubilant, while the home side were left to reflect on a defeat in a game they should have put beyond doubt when leading 17-0.

Hard work is needed in the coming week if the set piece is going to be competitive on the difficult visit to second-placed Okehampton on Saturday.

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