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Hollismen impress with opening day victory

     
       
   

HORNSEA RUFC started the 2018-19 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 offload from player-coach Steve Arnott who had made a barnstorming 20yard break towards the 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 where last season’s league winners, and on the stroke of half-time, after a deft grubber kick through, their right wing touched down in the corner to give a half-time score of 10-5 in Hornsea’s favour.

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 Thomas and Johnta Nkonjera were making Hornsea tick, and when Nkonjera made what’s becoming a powerful trademark 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 its 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 second row Andy Miller, drove over to score a well-earned try, Tom Copeland converted well to give Hornsea a 20-5 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 tries, one of which was converted, to put the game back in the balance at 20-15 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 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 Thomas and crashed over the line to score the decisive matchwinning score.

Speaking after the game, Hornsea playercoach Steve Arnott was impressed with his side and said: “What a start! To get last season’s league winners for our first game of the season, made sure we were really up for it, our intensity from the off was spot on and our attitude and commitment out on the pitch was fantastic. We’ve now set the standard for ourselves and it’s important we continue to work hard to carry on from this.”

 
         
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