Hornets keep up the winning habit

PUBLISHED: 09:48 14 January 2011

Rugby HornetsvTaunton

Rugby HornetsvTaunton

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AFTER a four week lay-off due to the freezing weather and Christmas festivities, Hornets 1st XV were back in action against Wells.

AFTER a four week lay-off due to the freezing weather and Christmas festivities, Hornets 1st XV were back in action against Wells.

The game started well with Hornets mounting pressure and being awarded several penalties, which they chose to run straight at their opponents in an effort to stamp their authority on the game.

The Wells defence remained strong and forced a knock-on which led to a scrum to the home side five metres from their own line. However, a mix-up between their No 8 and scrum-half gave Nick Francis a chance to cross unopposed for a try, converted by Paul Sheppard.

Wells came back and three minutes later kicked a penalty to narrow the gap. From here, Hornets lost their discipline and let Wells get back into the game. Hornets’ defence remained strong and it was 15 minutes before the next score. Another penalty kicked by the home full-back to bring them within a point.

Despite the narrow lead, Hornets always looked as though they had another gear and replied with a try from Matt Cornish, which was again converted by Sheppard.

Before half-time, Wells kicked another penalty to make the score 14-9. During the break, Hornets were forced to make a change, as scrum-half Nick Francis left the game with an eye injury, Sam Lloyd-Jones replacing him.

The second half was a much quieter period and it was 17 minutes in before the deadlock was broken. Centre Cornish intercepted a pass on halfway and won the foot race to the line for his second try. Unfortunately, the conversion from wide out was missed by Sheppard.

Following the score, Hornets introduced young second row Rhys Matson, for his 1st XV debut, when he replaced Jake Fereday.

On the attack again, Hornets’ backs were thwarted by their opponents being offside, Sheppard kicked the penalty for a 22-9 lead. Before the restart, Hornets made their final change as Neil Chenoweth replaced Chris Francis in the front row.

The hosts scored a consolation effort to make the final score 14-22 to Hornets.

On Saturday, Hornets entertain fourth placed Avon and a tough match is expected. Supporters are asked to attend to give the lads the lift they need to remain unbeaten this season. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

Wyvern 0 pts

Hornets 3rd XV 34 pts

The opening game of the New Year was a must win for both sides as Wyvern were top of the league and the Hornets in fourth.

Hornets skipper Damian Hewlett returned from injury, but it was Dave Jones who led the forwards with the game plan that produced the win.

Hornets started strongly and had a try by James Gould disallowed. From the resulting scrum, they continued to drive through the forwards, but the ball was released to centre Joe Beaney to score in the corner.

Wyvern defended superbly, where excellent ball carrying from Dave Geddes and Chaz Malone got Hornets back within sight of the try line to allow lock Sam Baker to crash over the line.

After the break, good defence kept Wyvern out and after a turnover, flanker Sean Davidson was rewarded for his hard work when he crossed the line.

As the second half continued, Rob Owen replaced Damian Hewlett at scrum-half, but it was a charge down by Connor Hull which produced the next score, converted by Owen.

Owen took control and it was his long kick and chase that produced his solo try, shortly followed by Gould to score the final try, converted again by Owen.

Man of the match was awarded by Wyvern to fly-half Steve Edwards.

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