Sunday, 28 July 2019


Hornets 12 - Dewsbury 32

This was the archetypal game of two halves - and not in a good way. Hornets led 12-8 at the break and looked good value for that, but an error-strewn second period where Dewsbury scored three tries in nine minutes saw the game simply washed away as the heavens opened.

Hornets looked like they'd scored early doors when Dan Abram rounded Worrincy, snaffling an Isaac Farrell kick to skate through - only for referee Mr Child to deem him offside.

It became a double kick in the spuds when, from the penalty, Dewsbury trucked upfleld where Knowles' kick was gathered by Morris and his touchdown by the upright was considered perfectly ok. Sykes hoofed the ball into the tea-bar from bang in front: 0-4.

Hornets dug in and got their reward on 17 minutes when the ball was shifted right where Daley Williams muscled his way in to score. Dan Abram with the extras from wide out and Hornets with the lead at 6-4.

With the weather deteriorating, the game became a bit of a knock-on-athon, but Dewsbury managed to hold on to the ball long-enough for Ryder to bully his way over up Hornets right-hand edge.

Hornets again responded well: a huge break up the guts of the Rams defence by Ben Kilner had Dewsbury scrambling, but Hornets couldn't capitalise. They did look to have scored immediately afterwards win Jordan Some ran a great line off a flat pass, but again Mr Child stepped in. This time, the pass called as forward.

As it was, Dewsbury came up with a coughed ball and Hornets went back to Daley Williams for a carbon-copy try on the hooter. Dan Abram another pinpoint conversion and Hornets off to the sheds with a deserved lead.

All optimism of Hornets getting anything out of the game was extinguished within 10 minutes of the restart.

With only two minutes on the clock, Garrett was slotted in to level the scores; eight minutes, Knowles in off a neat Sykes pass. Then disaster: Hornets forcing the ball wide in search of an opening, Worrincy intercepting to run 90 metres and score. Finn with the two and Hornets 12-24 behind.

A transgression bang in front gave Finn an easy penalty to extend the Rams lead - and with yet another Jordan Syme try chalked off for offside, you sensed that this was really only going one way.

Indeed, when Finn dinked a last tackle kick into the in-goal on the hour, Knowles flung an arm more in hope than expectation. Without consulting a touch-judge Mr Child pointed to the spot from 15 metres away.

And that was pretty much it. Dewsbury clocked-off early and allowed Hornets to run bluntly into their defence for 20 minutes. The only real opportunity late in the game when Callum Marriott looked to have scored off an Izaak Farrell pass - only for Mr Child to give another forward pass. Hornets subscription to luck clearly expired.

As we scrabble for positives we look to a solid, workmanlike first 40 minutes and the fact that - for the first time in a while - Hornets bettered their average points against: so at least some statistical improvement.

The defeat leaves Hornets championship lives hanging by the most tenuous of threads. Mathematically, we could still catch third-bottom widnes, but it would require overturning a 770 point deficit in just five games. And even the most delusional optimist would give those odds a wide berth.