Hor­nets win again

Win­ning start main­tained as side tops league

Hinckley Times - - SPORT -

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

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