The Hornets hosted Waitakere in a round 1 thriller last Sunday. The weather was grim with a howling wind and periodic rain. This meant the games were going to be played off the ground in a tight contest.
The Hornets Gold kicked the day off at 1pm against the Waitakere Magpies. The Hornets started a little slow with a few new players adjusting to the game. The wet weather made it incredibly difficult to get ball to hand and a lot of the game was played off the ground where the Hornets flourish. Unfortunately the Hornets were down at half time, trailing three goals to two. A big defensive effort from Jono Pearce dried up the magpies goals in the second half. Dan McCarthy enjoyed the opened spaces and used his pace to beat his man and kick a few goals. The Hornets Gold team turned the game on its head with superior fitness and ran away with it in the end winning the game 6-3. Well done on the first up win for the Hornets.
Following the Gold team, the Hornets Blue took to the field. The club had been preparing all preseason for this opening match. The wet weather made it very hard to take clean marks meaning the game play would suit our smaller players. The Hornets played fiercely in the first quarter keeping up with Waitakere. The Hornets worked very well together and rallied around each other when their team mate went off injured in the first quarter. New recruit Steph Tabaillou opened up the Hornets scoring kicking his first goal as a Hornet.
The second quarter the Hornets regathered and played a lot better, playing into the wind. A lot of focused running through broken play opened up the field to the Hornets to keep within one goal of Waitakere. A big defensive effort from Pete Jones on the Magpies key forward meant they were not as dangerous up front as they usually were. Finishing the first half the Hornets were down 2-3 (15) to 3-3 (21).
The second half started with Waitakere coming out of the blocks fast quickly getting on top of Hornets. A strategic positional change, moving Dan Bushett into the centre half forward position paid dividends with Dan kicking a goal with his first touch.
Jay Green provided solidarity in the backline where he had the most possessions for the Hornets. The final quarter saw debutant Jason Roach pick up a few grabs which he was unlucky not to convert into goals. A last minute snap by Elliott Bennetts helped the Hornets secure the draw against the 2017 runners up.
"It was a great first hit out for the team and this has set the platform for our season. We know we can go toe to toe with the 2017 finalists and it is very exciting for what this season could hold" - Coach Ryan White.
The Hornets will take on University Blues next Sunday at Paparoa Park. This will be a huge match with Steph Tabillou playing against his old club.
Up the Hornets!!