Ventnor were overpowered in a top-of-the-table clash at home to Solent University, in conditions spectators described as the worst they had seen in 20 years.

Watcombe Bottom was a boggy mess and players were soon caked in mud, making for a messy match all round.

The two sides were equally matched in the first half, although Ventnor were dealt a real blow when Damien Marriott was taken to hospital with a concussion.

Solent University took the lead with a breakaway try, which they converted and soon after, Ventnor thought they had an equaliser when the referee signalled for a try, only to change his mind and award a scrum to Solent.

In the second half, Solent’s superior fitness began to shine through and they doubled their lead with another converted try. Ventnor, who also lost Danny Newbery and Jake Babington to injury, fought back well and substitute Paul Berry crashed over near the posts to pull back five points. Ben Cooper kicked to make it 7-14.

But in the end, it was Solent’s day, and they ran in another two tries and a penalty to win comfortably in the end.

Ventnor: Walker, Newbery, Jesney, Davis, Morley, Riches, Benfield, Pickard, R. Cooper, Marriott, Engelgardt, Harris, B. Cooper, Babington, Stemmett, Berry, Lines, Jones.

 

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