Hornets youngsters shine at Twickenham
PUBLISHED: 09:45 05 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 24 May 2010
HAVING qualified for the Plate Final at the Nottingham National Festival last month, Hornets Under-10s played Amersham & Chiltern at Twickenham before the England v Barbarians match. The game ended as a draw, and although the competition rules were that t
HAVING qualified for the Plate Final at the Nottingham National Festival last month, Hornets Under-10s played Amersham & Chiltern at Twickenham before the England v Barbarians match.The game ended as a draw, and although the competition rules were that the winners in a tied score draw were the team that scored first, the trophy was shared.Amersham won the toss and elected to kick off and started strongly. Some characteristic strong defence in the backs thwarted these attacks, with Connor Harling, Lewis Brake and Josh Wheeler making numerous try-saving tackles.Once forwards George Kent, Kieran Ward and Jack Withers gained the upper hand, Hornets were able to gain some momentum.Half-backs Adam Francis and Connor Davidson combined well, getting their threequarter line going forward. Craig Nicholls had a few breaks that were held by some fine defence by the opposition. At half time, the scores were tied, and as agreed changes were made to give everyone the unique opportunity to play at Twickenham. Adam Thompson came on and made an immediate impression, giving Hornets more drive in the forwards.The result of this was a charge to the opposition line, which allowed the ball to be taken to the opposition line. Following a break by captain Adam Francis, the ball was quickly recycled allowing Connor Davidson to touch down and give Hornets the lead.Amersham & Chiltern bounced back immediately, but replacements, Toby Norman, Leo Dunkley and James Kerrigan withheld the initial onslaughts and started to counter attack.Following a breakaway run by the opposition and an uncharacteristic lapse of concentration, a penalty was awarded against Hornets for offside. Amersham & Chiltern launched an attack in one of the last plays of the match, scoring a well-worked try from short range.This was a tremendous achievement for a small club like Hornets, where they were competing against the best sides in the country, and are now unofficially one of the top five Under-10 teams in England.Thanks go to the following, Scobe Spratt and Sarah Littlewood for helping during training and Hornets' sponsors Pappadams Indian Restaurant, St Anthony's Nursing Home. Also thanks go to Darren Ward and Paul Davidson for the commemorative polo shirts.The squad for the Gullivers National Plate Final were: Adam Francis (captain), Kieran Ward (vice-captain), Connor Davidson, Adam Thompson, Jack Withers, Connor Harling, Toby Norman, Josh Wheeler, Craig Nicholls, James Kerrigan, Lewis Brake, George Kent and Leo Dunkley.* The Under-12s missed out in the National Finals at Twickenham last Sunday, going down by one try to Waterloo.Hornets started the game brightly as the forwards won good ball against heavier opponents. This possession was used wisely by the Hornets backs, but Waterloo held out with some fine defending.The first half was all Hornets and they went close on a number of occasions with Alex Guy adjudged to have not grounded correctly and Max Gaulton was just held up on the line. The first half ended with frustration for Hornets as they failed to put pressure into points and turned round scoreless.The second half saw Waterloo play their game as their bigger forwards began to dictate play. They kept the ball tight and began to exert pressure on Hornets. The all important try came with three minutes remaining when a well worked catch and drive from a line-out saw them inch towards the line and finally crash over from close range.Hornets tried gallantly to come back but couldn't do enough to secure enough possession for the backs to run at Waterloo. Time ran out as the referee signalled the end of the game that saw Hornets' second defeat in two finals at Twickenham.The squad worked hard over the last few weeks in preparation for this game and were rewarded as all 17 players got to play on the famous pitch and all came away with their heads held high.Squad: Ben Cox, Charlie Walbridge, Rob Jones, Alex Guy, Declan Dillon, Jack Walsh, Doug Sammon, James Collings, Billy Liffen, Max Gaulton, Dan Lomax, Sam Fisher, Alex Griffith, Jamie Richardson, Harry Jones, Ben Wheeler and Chris Lineham who was playing his last game for the club before his family move out of the area.* The Under-9s lost to Sandal by the odd try which was scored at the end of the second minute of extra time.The boys played well and all members of the squad were involved at some stage during the match. The squad consisted of Danny Bailey, Scot Baxter, Gareth Brock, Matt Cates, Thomas Chenneour, Michael Doe, Curtis Langdon, James Locker, Kieron Manning, Cameron Mcbeath, Miles Shuker, Cameron Smith, Lawrence Ware and Ben Wheeler.Coach Matt Langdon told the boys they will be back next season. Matt's first task back home was to reply to Gullivers who wanted confirmation Hornets will be attending Nottingham next year.The under 9s would like to take the opportunity to thank CC Sports, Premier Lodge, the Bristol Inn and all the other local companies for their support leading up to and including the finals at Twickenham.