Gosport & Fareham 3rds 31 – Ventnor 2nds 31
Ventnor 2nds first away game of the year was a tough, brutal game full of good play and bludgeoning tackles from both sides. From the first kick off it was clear that the two teams were very evenly matched and this proved to be the case as the lead swapped sides several times with neither team able to cement a meaningful advantage.
Ventnor were forced to field an experimental team and resources were further stretched when the dynamic flanking Eds, Clarke and Blake, were both forced off with injuries. Ed Clark’s broken collar bone stopping his blistering start to the season. The away team’s first two tries were scored by Jake Babington whose snake-hip running style left the Gosport defence grasping at thin air a number of times.
The good, powerful running of George Taylor and Sam Pickard were supported by the inspirational figure of prop Tristan ‘Beast’ Price who earned his man of the match award for determined work in the scrum allied with a running game that covered every blade of grass on the pitch. More often than not he was first to break-downs and kept up with the pace of our backs to give an offload option in open play.
Inexperience in the lineout meant that full back Warren Riches was called in to be the second jumper. His overall experience in the game would come to be very valuable late in the game. After Riches slotted a penalty to keep the scores close Arran Fradgley was sent over the try line by Ryan Cooper who’s tackling was a lesson to the rest of the team.
Going in to the last minute of the game Ventnor trailed by seven points. Jake Babington’s quick thinking lead to him finding the smallest of gaps to score and it was left to Warren Riches to give us something from the game. Using his vast experience and steely nerve he slotted it over to mean the match ended all square which was a result that probably left both teams unsure whether or not to be satisfied.
Man of the match – The Beast
Black Dog – Jake Babington (for missing the ferry…)
The club would like to show its thanks to team sponsors AJ Wells, Wightlink and Old Rosie