Ventnor 1st XV 122-0 Stoneham
Ventnor returned to winning ways on Saturday with an emphatic win that saw 18 tries scored at Watcombe.
In all fairness to Stoneham, they travelled to Ventnor with a bear 15 players, which in the past has prevented them from travelling & not fulfilling the fixture, maybe something they wish they had done again with hindsight!
Ventnor, still smarting from their defeat at Fareham Heathens the previous week, were determined to show their home support that it was just a glitch & that the bonus points would be picked up in this fixture….something that was achieved within the first 30 minutes!
All credit to Stoneham, who throughout kept trying to play & twice were close to Ventnor’s line & with a little more composure, would have scored at least one try.
In the past Ventnor would have fallen victim to this kind of game with individuals trying to score by running through the opposition, but this side played exciting rugby & stuck to the game plan laid out by the coaching staff & it paid off. In fact the record score for a Ventnor 1st XV is 128.0, something that could have been beaten, albeit for Nige Malkin getting greedy at the end & whipping the ball out of Aaron Marriott’s hands & creating a forward pass, they would have beaten the record by a point.
Thanks to the days match sponsors – Cridmore Farm, Cliff Camm, Flowers for you, Abacus Express Logistics & John Whitehouse
The tries were split fairly evenly between the backs & forwards with the Backs getting 10 tries & the forwards 8.
Try Scorers: Jake Babington (5) Damien Marriott (3 & 16 conversions) Todd Riches (3) Sam Pickard (2) Tobias Penner, Dan Newberry, Sean Williams, Ross Harris, Aaron Marriott.
Wightlink Man of the Match: Tobias Penner for his tireless running & tackling
AJ Wells Black Dog: Ross Harris
Team: Dan Newberry, Scott Jesney, Tristan Price, Sam Pickard, James Morley, Sean Williams, Tobias Penner, Todd Riches, Fergus Kenny, Damien Marriott, Aaron Marriott, Ben Lush, Ross Harris, Jake Babington, Tom Engelgardt. Replacements: Jim Pemberton, Nathan Ricketts, Nige Malkin
Basingstoke Cavaliers 4th XV 32–5 Ventnor 2nd XV
In a game where the referee played far too significant a part by constantly overlooking cynical and dangerous play by the hosts, injuries once again stopped this game from being a genuine contest.
With several key players missing a shuffle was required and there were a lot of players playing out of position. An early sin-binning to Rob Ward on his debut led to a try for Basingstoke but Ventnor rallied and some excellent interplay between the returning Dean Magnusson and Arran Fradgley led to Fradgley diving over to put the visitors right back in it.
Will Bridges, in his first game for two years, was putting in some ferocious hits but got one slightly wrong and had to go off injured. He was soon followed by brother and inspirational skipper Allan Bridges who was victim to a dangerous, late dump tackle which was ‘unseen’ by the referee. A separated shoulder will see the player who has come to be known as ‘Magic Man’ out for at least 4 months. With Allan Bridges off the park, kicking duties fell to prop Adam Pratt.
Chris Dobbas and Rob Ward were soon enjoying knocking the opposition over like skittles with some powerful running and the tough tackling of Reuben Mitchell and Lewis Jones were keeping the score respectable along with Will Bridges who returned to the action to replace the powerhouse Mike Walker.
Walker’s injury saw the end to meaningful scrums which Ventnor were shading, winning a number against the head.
It also meant that the team had lost experience now both behind the scrum and in the forward pack and Basingstoke took full advantage. Ed Blake was having the game of his life with some barracking runs and bone-crunching tackles until he too was forced from the pitch injured. Down to 14 Ventnor struggled to stem the flow but not through lack of effort. To a man everyone can be incredibly proud of the effort that was put in. Injuries, poor refereeing and some dirty, cynical play by only one or two Basingstoke players were the deciding factors.
Man of the match rightly went to Arran Fradgley who, in his first ever game at scrum half, was a constant threat in the loose and distributed the ball excellently throughout.
AJ Wells Black Dog went to Ed Blake. And rightly so.