Aspatria Hornets produced a much improved display in defeat against Division 1 high-fliers, Glasson Rangers. Despite going down to a 40-14 defeat the Hornets held their own for large parts of the game but ultimately paid the price for some slips in concentration just before half-time and towards the end of the match.
A large and enthusiastic crowd had gathered at St Mungo’s Park and hopes were high that the home side could cause an upset. However, the Hornets made the worst possible start, conceding a try in the opening two minutes. To their credit, Aspatria dug in and actually went on to be the better side for the next 25 minutes and scored a try of their own shortly after when Tony Herald barged over from close range. Luke Johnson
added the extras to give the Hornets a slender 6-4 advantage. Aspatria continued to pressure the Glasson line but failed to make the crucial breakthrough. Then shortly before half-time, Glasson scored a flurry of points to extend their lead to 22-6. The Hornets did close the deficit to 22-8 with a Luke Johnson
penalty goal from 40 metres out right on the stroke of half-time.
The second half saw Aspatria start brightly and the home pack was making excellent yardage, led by veterans Stuart Miller
and captain, Paul Cuthell
. The Hornets found themselves in some really promising positions on numerous occasions but a combination of good Glasson defence and spoiling tactics prevented the home side from adding to their score. Glasson were beginning to find one or two half-gaps around the ruck and this was causing Aspatria some problems. The referee started to penalise the Hornets for slowing the play down and this eventually led to hooker, Andrew Wilson
being sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes. Glasson added some more points but the Hornets continued to provide some stubborn defence, none more so than from Ken Bowes
, who prevented a sure score in the corner with a magnificent shoulder charge on the Glasson winger. The penalty count continued to rise and this further depleted the Aspatria energy reserves. The home side looked to have scored their second try of the game through big centre, Chris Scott
but the referee ruled a very dubious knock-on. A couple of late scores by Glasson gave the score line a rather one-sided look but the Hornets were determined to have the final say and were rewarded for their tenacity with a try from Luke Crossman
. This was converted by Johnson to give a final score of 40-14.
The Hornets can take lots of positives from this game and need to ensure that they transfer this form into their next league encounter against Salterbeck.