Date published: July 04, 2022
Hurricanes 34-42 Hornets
Rochdale Hornets survived a second-half onslaught from the Midlands Hurricanes to register a 42-34 victory on a frantic afternoon in Birmingham.
The Hornets had taken a 22-0 lead, after four tries in the first 13 minutes, but had to work tirelessly – to secure the two points.
For the second week in a row, the Hornets came out of the traps as Rob Worrincy continued his good try form with a score after just three minutes.
Rookie Kieran Rush wasted no time getting in too, and his line jump allowed Lewis Sheridan to register the second down.
The scrum-half then turned provider for the Hornets’ third down as he came from deep, before choosing Gregg McNally who ran untouched at the halfway point.
It was then Zac Baker’s turn to get on the scoresheet, as the second line propelled himself for his second try in as many games.
The Hurricanes then began to piece together some phases and were soon rewarded with a try for Alex Sutcliffe – the center holding off the Rochdale defense to score in the corner.
The hosts gained confidence following the try, but it was still Matt Calland’s side who struck next – through Ben O’Keefe.
In his first appearance since joining the club, Wigan’s center latched onto a Dan Nixon spot kick and swung away from the cover defense to score the Hornets’ fifth try.
The Midlanders were able to register a second score before half-time, however, when Tyler Walton reacted fastest to dive on Liam Welham’s spot kick in the end zone.
And it was Dave Scott’s side who got the opening score of the first half, with Phil Cowburn scoring – following a restart of the set.
The spirited fightback continued as Hayden Freeman raced up the pitch to score a breakaway try, which moved his team within a score.
With the pressure mounting, the Hornets recognized they needed a tryout and got it in the form of Sheridan; the Midlands defense was left for dead as the scrum-half jumped in for his second of the afternoon.
Then a second try for O’Keefe – set up by a brilliant break from McNally – seemed to have secured victory for the Hornets just ten minutes from time.
But two tries in just three minutes, for George Collins and Kieron Lawton, brought the Hurricanes within two points to secure an agonizing final.
Right off the restart, a pinpoint restart from McNally found contact giving the Hornets the ball just ten yards out.
The Lancashire side took full advantage of the territory, with O’Keefe passing close to secure his hat-trick and a hard-fought win.
The Hornets now face an intense week of training as they prepare for Sunday’s home derby against Oldham (3pm kick-off).
Hurricanes: Cowburn, Freeman, Welham, Sutcliffe, Vasu, Collins, Stead; Clavering, Windley, Ryan, Martin, Bowring, Walton.
Exchanges: Cullimore, Boardman, Newbound, Lawton.
Tries: Sutcliffe (18′), Walton (30′), Cowburn (48′), Freeman (53′), Collins (72′), Lawton (75′).
Goals: Stead, 5/6.
Hornets: McNally, Worrincy, Calland, Green, Nixon, Chase, Sheridan; Rogers, Rush, Bennion, Forster, Baker, Brearley.
Exchanges: Penkywicz, Taira, Connaughton, Green.
Tries: Worrincy (3′), Sheridan (6′, 63′), McNally (10′), Baker (13′), O’Keefe (26′, 70′)
Goals: Sheridan 4/7, McNally 1/1.