22 May 2024

A tough day for the Hollismen

Aireborough RUFC 46
Hornsea RUFC 8

On Saturday, the Hollismen travelled to West Yorkshire to face a spirited Aireborough team, following the Leeds-based side’s home victory over Stocksbridge the previous week.

Hornsea were missing several big names from their usual starting line-up. However, on paper, one could argue they had a backline sent from the gods.

Hornsea arrived in good time on what was set to be one of the hottest days of the year. With water breaks agreed, the game began. Hornsea drilled deep from the kick-off, and Aireborough mounted their first attack.

A strong foray of forward play and a well-placed kick from a penalty put Aireborough in prime position for a lineout, which was carried hard at the Hornsea line.

Several strong carries later, the Aireborough centre crashed over the line early to take a five- point advantage. With a solid strike, the kick was converted: 7-0. The Hollismen rallied and replied almost immediately.

Reg Fisher crashed over the line to bring the scoreline to 7-5 in Aireborough’s favour. A short period followed during which Hornsea pressured the Aireborough defence and won a penalty in front of the sticks. Captain James Hill struck a solid kick, giving the Hollismen a 7-8 lead. This was to be the final passage of play with the Hollismen on top.

From this point forward, the West Yorkshiremen stepped up their game, with strong carries coming from all eight of their heavy pack and an exceptional kicking game from the talented inside centre. Aireborough pinned Hornsea into their own half for what would be the remainder of the game.

With limited ball that Hornsea did manage to secure, along with lots of pressure around the ruck, a set piece that just didn’t work for them, and a multitude of handling errors and penalties, Hornsea’s sideline was simply short of replacements—aside from top try-scorer Andy Finch, who thankfully was available. It just wasn’t Hornsea’s day.

Captain James Hill reflected on the performance, saying, “We go back to the drawing board this week in training and look to next week away at York R.I. We know they bring a strong forward game and attack hard.

“We’ll be focusing this week on how we defend around the ruck, our set piece, and unleashing our power players to get some points on the board. We hope to see the return of some players who have been out with early-season injuries. We look ahead and go forward with our heads held high for the rest of the season.”