Hornets hang on to record opening day league success

PUBLISHED: 09:45 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:45 07 September 2018

Ozzy James.

Ozzy James.

Archant

Hornets started the new season with victory at Teignmouth, but were lucky to come away with the points.

Teignmouth 19 pts

Hornets 24 pts

Hornets opened their league campaign in Devon with a useful win on the road, but all involved will know that they were let off the hook by Teignmouth and were lucky come away with the points.

Hornets spent the first 10 minutes defending and when they did get possession, struggled to battle their way out of their 22.

Relief did eventually come through a line break from Rob Dempsey and a good clearing kick from Craig Nichols. A good chase forced Teignmouth back over their own line and Hornets won a five-metre scrum.

Although there were early ominous signs of the Hornets scrum going backwards, the ball was retrieved and Steve Pape smashed into the Teignmouth defence, offloaded to Paul Morrisey who moved the ball onto Ozzy James to touch down in the corner.

Jordan Humphris made a great conversion kick from the touchline and Hornets were 7-0 up on 15 minutes, but Teignmouth went straight back on the attack and levelled the scores.

With the scrum struggling to move forward, Hornets spend most of the reminder of the first-half defending until a break from James saw him just fail to outsprint the defence.

Once in the home side’s 22 they were able to leave with further points from a Humphris penalty to lead 10-7 at the interval.

Hornets started the second half much brighter, but this time it was they who failed to register any points. Teignmouth wrestled their way back into the game and a five-metre scrum saw a penalty try awarded and the home side take the lead for the first time.

This sparked Hornets into life and good work from Courtney Harris and Lewis Brake saw Hornets win a five-metre scrum of their own. The ball was moved quickly and Adam Francis was able to feed Dempsey to touch down. Humphris again added the extras for a 17-14 lead.

Teignmouth missed a penalty from in front the posts before the moment that ultimately clinched the match saw Harris take the ball on the halfway line, smash through two tacklers and then canter the length of the half and crash over before the defence could drag him down.

Humphris again converted and suddenly the scoreline of 24-14 rather flattered Hornets.

The home side were not done and spend the remainder of the game pressurising the Hornets line. However, first another missed penalty and a missed conversion when they did score a try meant that they failed to take the points on offer to them.

Despite having their backs to the wall and temporarily losing their discipline and seeing Ross Cheeseborough yellow carded, Hornets defended heroically for the last 10 minutes and managed to keep themselves ahead and register a valuable away win.

With Bridgwater visiting The Nest on Saturday, there is plenty to work on during the week, but a win in Devon is always a positive result and is a good kickstart to the new season.

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