Hornets win again
Winning start maintained as side tops league
HINCKLEY continued their winning start to the season with a comprehensive 42-17 victory against local rivals South Leicester.
A brace of tries each for Mitch Lamb and Gaz Turner, one each from Josh Smith and new boy Ben Pointon plus a perfect six from six conversions from Joe Wilson saw the Hornets romp home against a South side who arrived with ambitions to end Hinckley’s unbeaten record.
Defeats for both Sedgley Park and Chester elsewhere mean that Hornets are now four points clear at the top of the table.
It is still early days in the league and we are yet to see how Hornets will perform in the winter mud and rain which proved their undoing last season, but there is undoubtedly a buzz around Leicester Road at the moment.
Director of Rugby George Chuter was again pleased with the result but was not so happy with his team’s defence and in particular with their discipline.
Hornets once more were reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes as this time Henry Povoas and Joe Glover picked up yellow cards.
Chuter said: “Our discipline needs attention. We can’t continue playing with 14 for lengthy periods if we want to succeed in this division.”
It was South though who won the early exchanges. Hinckley hardly touched the ball in the first 5 minutes and found themselves 7-0 down and reduced to 14 men when Povoas was carded for not releasing and South captain Dan Ireland had barged his way over for the opening try which Ben Palmer converted.
Hornets drew level on 15 minutes when Josh Smith was driven over after good approach play had seen them work through the phases from just inside the South half.
And five minutes later Hornets grabbed the lead when an attempted interception by South went loose, Joe Glover picked up, and the ball was worked to the South line for Mitch Lamb to force his way over for the try.
A knock-on from the restart though handed South possession and eventually Mitchelle Stephenson collected a deft little kick through to score an easy try with the Hinckley defence apparently absent.
But Hornets hit back quickly when an overthrown South lineout inside their own half was collected by Glover who carried to the 22m. He was stripped of the ball in the tackle but South in turn lost possession and Mitch Lamb eventually drove over the line for his second. Wilson’s conversion took the score to 21-14 with half-time beckoning.
There was still time, however, for Glover to pick up Hinckley’s second card when he was penalised in front of his own posts, and Ben Palmer converted to send the visitors in at the break very much in touch at 21-17.
The second half though belonged to Hinckley as South failed to register another score. From the restart, South fumbled the ball, Hornets grabbed possession, worked their way to the South 22, and Gaz Turner burst from the back of a ruck to go over for his first.
Turner grabbed his second eight minutes later from a catch and drive on 5m after South’s Ben Palmer had been carded on his own 22.
Perhaps the best score of the game was yet to come though. On 61 minutes, Ben Pointon picked up from the rear of a scrum inside his own 22m. The ball then passed through 7 pairs of hands, with debutant Aaron Phillip particularly prominent, before Pointon himself collected the final pass to touch down under the posts.
It was quality stuff and for those of a certain age, it evoked memories of the famous Gareth Edwards try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks.
That was a fitting end to the scoring. Hinckley went close a couple more times but with the match won, the cutting edge wasn’t quite there and South were not able to lift themselves for a final effort.
Next week, Hinckley visit Chester who lost for the first time this season at Peterborough Lions on Saturday. They will be anxious to close the gap against the early season flyers. STAPLETON Masters Cyclist Mike Twelves, riding for Coventry elite cycling team Team Jewson MI Racing Polypipe, won his 5th National Title of 2018 dominating the National Madison Championship race with partner and teammate Richard Oakes, on the indoor velodrome in Derby.
The Madison race features two-man teams, one rider active at any time and changes between teammates made by hand slings often at speeds of over 35mph. With a total of 120 laps of the 250m track and sprints for points every 20 laps, Twelves and Oakes took an early lead by winning the first two sprints.
At just under half distance and shortly before the 3rd spring a strong attack saw them take the half distance sprint and then continue to lap the field, gaining a further 20 points for doing so. At that point Twelves and Oakes were 23 points ahead of the second place team with only 20 points remaining from sprints. However, adopting the principle of attack being the best form of defence, the team also won the final three sprints of the race delivering a comprehensive victory.
Earlier in 2018, Twelves also won the national time trial championship, individual pursuit, scratch race and points race at the national track championships and took the silver medal in the World Masters Road Race Championship in Belgium.
His season concludes at the LVRC track championships at Derby at the end of the month. Team owner Mick Ives has obviously been delighted with Mike’s results. He said: “Five titles in one year, in very different disciplines, shows Mikes incredible versatility. On top of that he is the reigning National Road Race champion and took a brilliant silver medal at the World Championships.
“He also won the toughest masters road race in the country this year and had two victories from three rides in Belgium, the hotbed of Masters cycling. I know he is working hard to prepare for his final events of the year at the LVRC track championships on his home track in Derby, where he will be leading our team”
Hinckley RFC in action on Saturday. Mitch Lamb breaks and goes over for the first of his two tries. Picture: Steve Wells