16 April 2024

Magnificent seven for Hollismen on Centenary Day

Hornsea RUFC made it seven matches in a row and seven years unbeaten against their oldest rivals Hessle on the club’s Centenary Day, winning by the narrowest of margins in a very tight local derby.

The match ended 20-19 to the Hollismen as they just did enough to gain the victory.

In front of a large touchline crowd both sides started well as they looked to gain the first score. Hessle had the first opportunity, but an unsuccessful penalty kick allowed Hornsea to clear the danger.

With 15 minutes now gone Hornsea managed to work the ball upfield and after a series of phases they had got to within five metres of the Hessle try line. Hornsea lock forward Dan Wilkinson picked up from the back of the ruck and drove over to break the deadlock and give Hornsea the lead, with Tim Roberts converting well to make it 7-0.

Hessle hit back 10 minutes later scoring a deserved try, also from close range to pull the score back to 7-5.

Defences seemed to be slightly on top and both sides struggled for any real line breaks of note, but with the clock heading towards half-time, Hornsea were awarded a penalty which they opted to kick for goal, with Tim Roberts striking the ball well to send it over to give Hornsea a 10-5 lead when the half-time whistle was blown.

The game was very much in the balance as the second half started and Hessle took the lead as they were the fastest out of the blocks scoring a converted try just four minutes into the half, for 10-12.

Hornsea hit back within minutes, with leading try scorer Andy Finch making a trademark touchline break to score out wide to regain the lead for the Hollismen: 15-12.

Ed Webster’s side also got the next score, which proved to be the all-important one as it took Hornsea two scores clear. Prop forward Andy Salvidge made a bullish charge down the touchline before being tackled well.

The resultant next two or three phases saw Hornsea try to crash over but they were thwarted by stern Hessle resistance. The ball was then shipped wide with right wing Andy Finch again touching down in the corner, for 20-12.

Hornsea looked like they had possibly done enough now to take the win, but Hessle had other ideas, and after they had worked downfield they finally penetrated the Hornsea line to score under the posts, which was duly converted to take the score to 20-19, just still in Hornsea’s favour.

With about four minutes left Hornsea kicked off knowing if they could keep the play in Hessle’s half they’d get the win. But a break from Hessle and good ball retention saw them work their way into the Hornsea 22. Hessle threw all they could at Hornsea with only some very brave defence keeping them out, and in Hessle’s final push the ball was spilled and the full-time whistle was blown.

So, a very tight win for Hornsea, much similar to the first ever match in the club’s history in 1924, also against Hessle, which was a 16-14 win for Hornsea.

Speaking after the match, Hornsea captain Ed Webster said: “We expected it was going to be a tough match. Hessle were clearly up for it as we knew they would be. The lads gave everything, certainly in defence, and the passion and commitment shown in the last few minutes when we were defending our line was second to none.”