A thrilling finish at the Hollis Rec on Saturday 24th September saw Hornsea RUFC snatch a vital first win of the season since gaining promotion to Yorkshire Division 4. Here is a summary of reports from the four matches so far from Steve Crook:
HOLLISMEN GO DOWN IN SEASON OPENER
Hornsea 7 Bramley Phoenix 39
A difficult opening 10 minutes suggested that it wasn’t to be the black and greens day, when Jack Backhouse had to leave the field after just 10 minutes, with the visitors scoring three trys in relative quick succession to take a 20-0 lead.
Hornsea quickly re-grouped however, and found their way back into the match via a Gareth Laycock try following the Hornsea pack disrupting some Bramley ball, with Laycock sprinting to the line to score on his first appearance captaining the Hollismen, Adie Wadforth then converted to make the score 7-20 to Bramley. The first half ended with both sides having further opportunities to add to their tally’s but defences held firm and 7-20 was the interval scoreline.
Sadly, any hopes of a continued Hornsea comeback were soon to be extinguished, as Bramley took a firm stranglehold on the game, bagging three more tries after the break.
Six minutes into the second half, Bramley ran over their fifth try of the match, through some pacy back play, and two further trys secured their victory.
HOLLISMEN STRUGGLE AGAINST CORINTHIANS
Hornsea 7 Leeds Corinthians 35
Corinthians took a 13:0 lead after twenty minutes with two trys and a penalty, Hornsea then hit back with a Mark Thomas try, converted by Wadforth to get right back into the game. However on the stroke of half time the Hollismen spilled the ball near their line and Corinthians capitalised and scored to take an 18:7 lead at the interval.
Corinthians took a firm stranglehold on the game, bagging three more tries after the break, to secure a 39:7 deserved victory.
HORNSEA STILL TO FIND WINNING FORMULA
Hornsea 5 Rotherham Phoenix 22
Hornsea suffered their third straight defeat of the season against a well drilled Rotherham outfit, but this was probably their best performance to date. The squad was similar to that of recent weeks apart from the welcome inclusion of Danny Chalcraft, Mike Walker and Dave Hildreth, who all impressed back in the black and green jersey.
It was Rotherham who took charge in the first half with their set piece being dominant giving Hornsea plenty of problems and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring with a deserved try early on. The Hollismen were living of scraps, with a couple of flurrys into the Rotherham half all they had to show in the opening 30 minutes. Phoenix continued to dominate in the scrum and they really should have added to their tally in the final minutes of the half, but some brave defeat by the Hornsea side kept them at bay resulting in them just having a narrow advantage at the break.
Rotherham scored a second try after just five minutes of the half which was well converted to give them a 12-0 lead. This seemed to spur Hornsea into life who then had their best passage of the game for the next 20 minutes. In this time, the dangerous Jack Foster scored a fine try after breaking some tackles following some good work by the Hornsea side. The Hollismen half back pairing of scrum half Mark Thomas, who was given the man of the match award and fly half Rich Pooley led the Hornsea back division well, however, a couple of opportunites were missed by the Hollismen to possibly bring the scores level and with 10 minutes to go they were left ruing their chances as Rotherham added a penalty and a try late on to make sure of the victory.
POOLEY PRODUCES PERFECT PERFORMANCE
Hornsea 28 Stanley Rodillians 26
Hornsea fly half Richard Pooley produced an inspired performance, including an 18 point haul, to see Hornsea pick up their first victory of the season against a resilient Stanley Rodillians side.
Hornsea were on top in the early exchanges and Pooley soon got on the scoresheet after the Hornsea pack, through Pete Houghton and man of the match Leon Smith drove the ball into the Rodillians twenty two. The away side were penalised and Pooley added a well struck penalty. Hornsea increased their lead on the 11 minute mark through centre Matty Smallwood, three forward phases, featuring Danny Chalcraft, Mike Walker and Mark Elliott saw the Hollismen make good yards before the backs were unleashed and Smallwood glided his way to the line to score a fine try, Pooley converted. Rodillians got back into the game on the 18 minute mark with a well worked forwards move, to take the scores to 10-5 in Hornsea’s favour. Fly half Pooley was dictating things well for Hornsea and he added a fifty yard perfectly struck drop goal after 22 minutes after the Hornsea back three of David Ashbridge, Dave Hildreth and Brent Duncan had combined well to take the play into the Rodillians half. Again Rodillians hit back, and on the 32 minute mark they scored an interception try under the posts which was duly converted to bring the score to 13-12 in Hornsea’s favour. Hornsea captain, Gareth Laycock, was having a typical hard working display and he was involved, along with 2nd row forward Jim Richardson as Hornsea increased their lead before the interval. Laycock and Richardson powered the ball into the Rodillians half, scrum half Mark Thomas sent out a bullet pass to Pooley who found centre Sam Bergan who scored a fine try, stepping beautifully to outwit the defenders to score.
Half Time Hornsea 18 Stanley Rodillians 12
The second half was a bit scrappy with both sides making errors, but it was Rodillians who added to their tally first with a converted try after just five minutes following the restart after some poor decision making by the Hollismen. Richard Pooley was constantly in the game and it was no surprise when he scored the next try of the game regaining the lead in doing so for Hornsea. Hornsea substitutes Paul Skinner, Jim Herzberg and Phil Walker were all involved in gaining possession and making some crucial yards forward. The ball then came to the backs, Pooley found himself out wide and he raced fifty yards down the touchline, selling a spectacular dummy to score under the posts which he then calmly converted, to give Hornsea a 25 points to 19 advantage. However, with just 8 minutes remaining, disaster struck for the Hollismen as Rodillians had a rare flurry into the Hornsea half and scored under the posts from a speculative kick through, which was then converted to give them a 26-25 lead. With Hornsea looking like they had thrown victory away it was fitting that Richard Pooley would score the points to see the Hollismen to victory. Some excellent forward work by hooker Tom Copeland and Leon Smith saw Hornsea take the ball to within thirty yards of the Rodillians line. The Wakefield based side were then penalised at the breakdown, Pooley called for the tee and smashed the ball from the touchline to score a cracking penalty and regain the lead for Hornsea. the Hollismen calmly saw out the final couple of minutes which saw them complete a fine first victory of the season back in Yorkshire Division Four.
Speaking after the game Hornsea coach Steve Arnott said, “This is just what we needed, the lads have remained upbeat despite our three defeats prior to this and i’m delighted that we’ve broken our Yorkshire Four duck”. Hornsea captain Gareth Laycock was also in buoyant mood and added, “We deserved the victory all the lads gave our all, and although a close scoreline I felt we deserved the points, hopefully we can now build on this and carry on our winning form”.