Somerset Colts Cup Final 23.4.17.
Hornets Colts are Somerset Cup Champions !!
Hornets travelled to Bridgwater for the Colts Somerset Cup Final against Taunton and came away with a fantastic victory winning by 4 tries to 2 and go one better than last season as runners up, much to the delight of the large number of Hornets supporters.
The whole day didn’t go well for Taunton, they were obviously very confident of being winners as a report was published in the Sunday Independent on the morning of the final where they had declared themselves Champions even before the game started.
Then they arrived at the game without any player photo identity cards which is a compulsory competition rule and were nearly forced to concede the match.
Finally when the game started they totally underestimated the massively motivated Hornets team who only had one objective which was to be County Champions. Never underestimate any Hornets team is a good lesson to learn.
It was obvious from the start that both teams were in a battle as both defences were sound. Paddy Holyday and his centre partner Alex Francis were totally controlling the midfield as Taunton’s backs were startled by their intensity.
Taunton although working hard couldn’t get into Hornets 22, and when foul play was penalized, Jordan Humphris kicked the penalty deep into their own 22 and a lineout to come.
Mikey Brooks delivered the perfect throw in to Mitch Miell and the Hornets forwards could sense a score. Tyler Haynes and Nick Hitchens assisted in pushing the maul forward and prop Ieuan Walters spotted and stretched for the line for the first try.
Hornets now were oozing confidence and again found themselves deep in foreign territory. A desperate clearence kick by Taunton was collected by Jim Constable and the dangerous strong running winger got deep up field, he joined up with his forwards who secured quick ball and the elusive scrum half Blake Williams was able to dart through a gap and scorch to the line followed by the conversion out wide by Humphris and Hornets were building a lead.
Taunton were benefitting from the referee’s interpretation of the break down laws that Hornets were struggling to understand, and totally against the run of play got a converted try very deep into injury time.
The second half started in a similar fashion and a penalty to Hornets was reversed for a supposed push on a player which was right in front of the posts and Taunton kicked it to go 2 points behind.
Hornets now knew they had to regather control of the game, straight from the kick off, the perfect kick by Humphris was retrieved by the athletic Sam Bate and he set off on a dynamic run to put Taunton on the back foot again. The resulting Hornets scrum had Taunton bamboozled, runners scattered to confuse the defence, Williams spotted an overlap was available out wide and Constable got the ball in good time from Jake Middleton and he sprinted round the last man to score to put Hornets 7 in front.
Taunton again attacked but were hit by a solid wall of Hornets defenders, eventually their persistence was rewarded with a fine try and conversion to leave the game at 17 all.
With only a few minutes left, Hornets knew that if the scores stayed the same, victory would be theirs, as the number of tries scored by them was greater than Taunton and so would win by a try count.
This team though, is not one to sit back on their strong position and decided that attack is the best form of defence.
Connor Chamberlain was attacking from deep and props Devon Frost and Conrad Haswell applied power in attacking runs along with Tommy Bailey posing his own questions with ball carrying.
Then the Coup de grâce !
A scrum in Hornets half, and Williams found his fly half Humphris, his perfect grubber kick between the centre and wing and the ball was in space. Sam Bate ate up the ground with his large strides and was first to the bouncing ball, and when at full tilt the No.8 is outstanding, his strength and ability got him to the line to score the match winning try to huge cheers from most of the crowd.
The conversion was irrelevant as the final whistle was blown and Hornets were County Champions.
Final score Hornets 22 Taunton 17.
A massive effort by this group of players who after last years disappointment in the final, have worked hard all season for this victory and along the way beat in the semi final the 2015 Champions.
They were also Gloucester County Cup Finalists this year, and so a very successful season comes to an end.
It is very pleasing for the Club knowing that the player conveyor belt is up to full speed as another set of quality players now move up to the seniors next season and so boost talent in the club.
The junior players in the team will now join up with this years U16s to be the Colts next year and defend their title and so another set of players will roll off the production line.
Updated 11:34 - 25 May 2017 by John Brennan