Hornets fade away in the second half at Okehampton
PUBLISHED: 11:17 07 December 2018
Hornets were no match for second-placed Okehampton, who ran away with the match in the second half.
Okehampton 44 pts
Hornets 7 pts
Hornets travelled to Devon to take on Okehampton who currently sit second in South West One.
It was always going to be a difficult trip and while they held their own for much of the first half, they were comprehensively outplayed after the break resulting in a heavy defeat.
And all this while the local derby in National League 2 South, between Taunton and Old Reds featured no fewer than eight member of the Hornets squad from two seasons ago – supporters can only wonder what the position might be now if the club had been able to retain these players at The Nest.
Okehampton started brightly and it was soon clear they had a physical pack and some quick backs. They took an early lead when a high tackle led to an early penalty and three points.
Hornets themselves put some phases together and after the referee marched Okehampton back 10 metres at a penalty, Jordan Humphris found a good touch.
The line-out was won and Hornets drove towards the line. Matt Parker broke from the back of the maul to crash over for the first try of the match. Humphris converted and Hornets led 3-7.
Okehampton were getting no joy at scrum time with props Philip Hobbs and Bailey Jackson doing a stoic job of holding their own.
However the home side were looking dangerous and were enjoying more and more possession. The pressure eventually told on 35 minutes with Oakhampton scoring their first try and they quickly added a second before half time to lead 13-7 at the break.
With Hornets looking stretched and starting to look tired the signs were ominous for the second period.
The worrying signs proved accurate as the second half got underway. Hornets found themselves pinned back into their own half, the Okehampton pack started to gain the upper hand at set pieces and the home side’s backs were keen to throw the ball around and attack at pace.
Hornets defended heroically for 20 minutes, conceding only one further score, but as the game entered the final quarter they were eventually overrun and in the next 15 minutes Okehampton ran in a further four tries to make the score 44-7.
To their credit Hornets kept playing and almost scored again in the dying minutes, but everyone involved will know that they were outplayed by a better team on the day and it was certainly clear why Okehampton are sitting second in the league.
Hornets have now lost three games on the bounce. Saturday sees the visit of St Ives and they need to get their season back on track, hopefully by catching the new visitors to The Nest napping after what will be a long bus trip from Cornwall.