Hollismen Impress With Opening Day Victory
Hornsea started the 2018-2019 East District Merit League 1 season in superb fashion as they defeated last season’s league winners, Hull Ionians Ramblers, by 27 points to 15.
Hornsea started the game with good intensity, and it took them only five minutes to take the lead with a try from scrum half Mark Thomas, who was given the man of the match award after the game. Thomas ran a good support line to take a clever off load from player coach Steve Arnott who had made a barnstorming 20 yard break towards Ionians try line.
Jonty Ashton, making his first start for the club since returning to the Hornsea area, scored Hornsea’s next try, capping a fine performance for him back in the black and green shirt. The Hornsea pack again we’re making good yards with every carry and drive, and when Ashton picked up close to the line there was no stopping him as he powerfully ran through two would be tacklers to score to give Hornsea a 10:0 lead.
Ionians slowly got themselves back into the game, showing glimpses of why they were last season’s league winners, and on the strike of half time, after a deft grubber kick through, their right wing touched down in the corner to give a half time score of Hornsea 10 Hull Ionians Ramblers 5.
After an upbeat half time team talk by Danny Chalcraft, captaining the side in Gareth Laycock’s absence, Hornsea were again straight into their stride following the restart. The half back pairing of Mark Thomas and Johnta Nkonjera were making Hornsea tick, and when Nkonjera made what’s becoming a powerful trade mark break, centre Liam Tudor Bateman ran a sublime line to take the pass to ghost his way to the line from twenty yards out.
Ionians were now tiring as their defensive duties were starting to take their toll, and it was no surprise when the Hollismen further increased their lead through hooker Phil Walker, Walker ably supported by his front row colleague, Leon Smith and 2nd row Andy Miller drove over to score a well earned try, Tom Copeland converted well to give Hornsea a 20 points to 5 lead.
The game looked out of reach for Ionians now, but in an impressive ten minutes spell, they showed why they were last season’s league winners, scoring two try’s, one of which was converted, to put the game back in the balance with ten minutes remaining.
The next score was going to be vital, a Hornsea try would no doubt win them the game, an Ionians try would potentially draw them level. Captain Danny Chalcraft rallied his side with a great ball steal, and further progress from the workmanlike Hornsea pack, saw them move close to the Ionians line. With just three minutes remaining, prop forward Tim Griffiths took an inside pass from Mark Thomas and crashed over the line to score the decisive match winning score.
Maltas and Tonks impress on debut but Hollismen suffer first defeat of the season
Saturday 22nd September Malton 2nd XV 24 Hornsea 5
Malton inflicted Hornsea’s first defeat of the league season despite a spirited effort by the Hollismen. Hornsea looked dangerous throughout the game with ball in hand but their well drilled opponents, who were able to include a handful of players with Yorkshire 1 experience, had the majority of possession.
Hornsea’s Sam Tonks and Jamie Maltas, both making their debut’s for the Hollismen both impressed playing on the wing and scrum half respectively. Maltas played a key part in Hornsea’s only try of the game when he made a quick tap at a penalty making a darting break before passing to the experienced Tom Copeland who crossed the whitewash for the try.
Next up for the Hollismen is a trip to Dukes Park Bridlington, where they play Bridlington 2nd XV on Saturday 29th September.
Olivia Allen (pictures) won the Woman of the Match award in her first ever game – Hornsea Ladies home defeat to Hull Ionians 36 – 52
Photo Carl Wiles