The Hornets, keen to replicate the success of their Round 6 match, headed over to Colin Maiden Park to take on the 2016 runners up. The Howick Hornets were out for another shock win and pave their way into a finals position.
From the first tap off, University were a slick operation with fluid passing and kicking to targets. University maintained possession most of the quarter but were unable to convert that possession into goals. The Hornets backline was running hot and spoiling Universities chances of easy kicks. University managed to kick 4 behinds back to back before the Hornets gathered the footy and moved the ball up into their forward line. The one time the ball got inside the 50m and off a contested mark; Elliott Bennetts scooped up the loose ball and slotted a goal 30m out on the angle. The Hornets were in the lead 1.0 (6) to 0.4 (4)
The second quarter the Hornets relinquished their pressure and had hoped the tail wind would help out. University were able to run the ball with quick handballs and kept score board pressure on top of the Hornets. The game was being played end to end football which was exhausting under the hot sun. The Hornets (as they always do) finished the quarter strongly and kept themselves within contention for the lead. Hornets 2.3 (15) to University 4.2 (26).
The third quarter was very similar to the second, the Hornets unable to pick up the tempo and dominate the Blues. University were able to extend their lead to 35 points by the end of the quarter. Hornets 3.5 (23) to University 8.10 (58).
In the final quarter, the Hornets showed what they can do. The never give up attitude that flows through the team provides them with the resilience to play at 100% until the final whistle. With the minutes counting down the Hornets swarmed the University defence and kicked back to back goals. With momentum on their side, the Hornets were looking to push forward for victory but unfortunately the final whistle sounded and the Hornets were unable to close the gap. Hornets 7.9 (51) to University 10.10 (70).
Although the end result was not what the team wanted, it is a great reflection on the progress of the team this season. In the first-round clash, University bet the Hornets 84 to 40. The team is taking the positives out of the game and using it as a stepping stone to take on Waitakere at home next round.
Up the Hornets!
Final Score: Howick Hornets 7.9 (51) to University Blues 10.10 (70)
Goals: Andrew Azzopardi (5), Elliott Bennetts (1), Sean Brownlie (1)