Ventnor continued their Hampshire League 2 campaign at Fareham Heathens on Saturday (2nd Feb). Ventnor expected a comfortable win against one of the bottom sides but struggled to play the kind of rugby that have seen them push for promotion.
From the kick-off the heavy Fareham forwards applied constant pressure on Ventnor, slowing the ball down and pinning Ventnor in their own half. Scott Jesney was sin binned after 10 minutes for throwing a punch but shortly afterward Ventnor could have, and should have, scored the first try- When good work from Newbery allowed Jake Babington to break clear with the try line beckoning, only to be stopped a metre short.
This was Ventnor’s only real chance in a half where handling errors and poor decision-making stopped Ventnor from creating chances.
The second half started brightly for Ventnor, controlling the rucks and scoring a simple try when the backs moved the ball down the line for Harris to score in the corner. Marriott converted.
Ventnor were then awarded a penalty that Marriot again converted to give Ventnor a 10-nil lead within the first 5 minutes of the second half.
At this point Ventnor supporters thought the floodgates would open and Fareham would capitulate. Sadly Ventnor slipped back into the pattern of the first half, and failed to take any further chances. A poor performance was rounded off when, right at the death, Fareham scored a try to make the final score 10-5 in Ventnors favour.
Wightlink Man of the Match was given to skipper Dan Newbery and the AJ Wells Black Dog award went to club chairman Warren Riches.