Hornets storm to Somerset Cup victory
Hornets young side crowned their most successful season by winning the Somerset Cup for the second time in the clubs history
Somerset Cup Final at Bridgwater RFC – Tuesday 28 April 2015
Hornets 30 Wells 14
Hornets won the Somerset Cup final against Wells, for only the second time in their history, to cap a fine season which also saw them finish sixth in South West National League 3 in their first ever season at that level. A truly outstanding achievement by this young crop of totally amateur players with no less than six players under 20 years of age appearing in the cup final squad.
Facing a talented Wells side who also boast many youngsters along with an experienced spine Hornets set about their business well. Some big early collisions, notably by the outstanding Ross Cheeseborough, set the tone and the Hornets forwards set a solid platform for their dangerous backs.
However, there was a double early blow for Hornets when first skipper Chris Francis was forced to leave the field through injury, followed shortly by player-coach Alec Chase again due to injury. Kieran Ward took to the field at hooker while Dave Vivian took up the role of loosehead.
Hornets first try came when a blindside break from Cheeseborough saw him exchange passes with fullback Charlie Carter and the athletic lock sprinted clear to score, much to the delight of the large Hornets support. However they were soon silenced when Wells’ Somerset fly half Aaron Cooke booted them into a 5-9 lead with three penalty goals.
Hornets still looked the stronger side and when centre Adam Francis broke the Wells defence just before halftime Ward was in support to put Conor Littlewood in for a wonderful try at the posts. Jermaine Jones converted for a halftime score of 12-9.
Speed of ball was the halftime message and Hornets certainly delivered a sweeping move finished with James Letherby's rocket of a pass finding Carter, who after a quick juggling act held on to increase Hornets lead to 17-9.
The evergreen man of the match Phil Hogarth who, prematurely in many eyes, was bringing the curtain down on an illustrious career then went on a 60 metre barnstorming run before finally running out of moves at the Wells fullback. From the resulting play Hornets were awarded a penalty and Jones stretched Hornets lead to a healthy 20-9.
Hornets backs delivered the next try that was full of pace and precision, the ball was quickly moved from left to right and hard working winger Steve Thompson was on hand to put Carter in for his second try of the night and take the score out to 25-9.
Wells came back to life following Carter's score and were twice unlucky not to score on both occasions being penalised with Hornets line at their mercy. The Hornets were under pressure and despite some heroic defensive work Wells fullback scored a well deserved try, 25-14. As the game came to its final stages the Hornets forwards took advantage of an understandably tiring Wells pack and after a series of drives up and coming Georgian back row star Ramaz Rukhadze grabbed a late try to make the final score 30-14.
The Hornets pack were made to work hard in this game and Sonny Haines, Ross Cheeseborough, Matt Parker and man of the match Phil Hogarth were tremendous ably assisted by young guns Joe Smith, Ward and Connor Baker. The lineout was impeccable all night and the backrow had to work hard to secure ball against Wells who are ferocious at the breakdown.
The backs sparkled all night with Conor Littlewood and James Letherby pulling the strings, Adam Francis was a class act in the 12 shirt while Matt Cornish always remains a threat from 13. Jermaine Jones carried as much ball as any of the forwards from the right wing and never shirked despite some big hits on him from the Wells boys. A well deserved win and just rewards for the hard work from all the players and coaches Alec Chase and Jack Gadd.
Hornets 2015 Somerset Cup Winning Squad:- Alec Chase, Chris Francis (c), Sonny Haines, Phil Hogarth, Ross Cheeseborough, Connor Baker, Joe Smith, Matt Parker, Conor Littlewood, James Letherby, Jermaine Jones, Adam Francis, Matt Cornish, Steve Thompson, Charlie Carter, Dave Vivian, Kieran Ward, Dexter Nettleton, Ramaz Rukhadze, Sean Disney, Danny Bailey and James Dibble.