Chiefs stung by Hornets

SIDMOUTH 1st XV  5pts  v  HORNETS 1st XV  35pts


For the second week running the Chiefs worked hard to keep themselves in the game at half time only to commit basic errors, which handed back the initiative to the opposition. And Hornets were far too good a side not to capitalise on the opportunities gifted to them just after the break.


The Chiefs made a bright start and were soon pressing inside the visitors 22. They were rewarded with an early penalty attempt, but the kick from wide out on the left drifted just wide.


Hornets soon got into their stride and it was Sidmouth’s turn to defend, which they did with great determination exemplified by a fine try-saving tackle by Harry Chesterton on the left winger.


Some good offloading among the Sidmouth forwards from the back of a lineout set up a promising move but a knock on brought it to an end.


A fine handling move gave the Hornets left winger another run to the line, but he was recalled for a forward pass. However, the pressure was eventually rewarded when the scrum half kicked a penalty.


Two tries quickly followed as Hornets gained control in the middle of the half. The full back joined the line at a good angle for the first, and the outside centre did the same following a period of pressure on the Sidmouth line. Both conversions were unsuccessful.


The Chiefs responded positively with a well-constructed try of their own. Josh Bess linked with Steve Trim on the blind side of a scrum just outside the Hornets 22 to put Jamie Balloch in space. He took the opportunity well to score a try on his debut. Dan Retter’s conversion attempt bounced the wrong side off an upright to leave the half time score at 5-13.


From the restart kick, the Chiefs launched a promising attack, but a handling error turned over possession to the opposition. They launched a sweeping counterattack, which was finished off by the full back. The try was converted by the scrum half. A few minutes later, the Chiefs tried to run the ball out of their own 22, where another handling error gifted the ball to Hornets. This time the move was finished off by the number five to open up a 20 point lead and earn his side a try bonus point.


For the next half hour the Chiefs competed well in a game which moved from end to end. They came closest to scoring when the forwards drove a lineout maul over the line, but were unable to ground the ball.


Hornets, who had enjoyed the bulk of possession. finished the game strongly with two late tries. The number five scored his second when he drove over from a ruck near the line. Then, in injury time, the outside centre benefitted from some weak tackling to run in a solo effort from halfway. The final whistle followed the unsuccessful conversion attempt.