Chineham 9-15 Ventnor 1st XV
This week Ventnor travelled to Chineham and came away with a big win against a strong opposition. Ventnor travelled with 17 men all of who were in kit already as there was no time to change and barely time to warm up as they had got the later ferry.
Even with little to no warm up Ventnor kept Chineham at bay for the beginning of the game but then gave away a penalty to give the home side a 3-0 lead. Ventnor carried on with strong carries from Todd Riches, James Morley, Danny Newberry and Sam Pickard all making it well past the game line. Unfortunately they couldn’t break down Chineham’s defence enough to score. The home side were also making strong runs and with Ventnor giving away yet another penalty they went 6-0 up before half time.
With no coaches there to give the team talk Todd Riches gave a talk to get Ventnor riled up for the second half and it definitely had the desired effect with great work from the forwards getting the team towards the try line which then ended with Jake Babington scoring the opening try of the game. Chineham were now rattled but came straight back at the visitors but the defence held strong with great tackles being made by all. With Damien Marriott and Fergus Kenny controlling the game from the 9 and 10 positions Ventnor cleared their line and was back in the oppositions half. Sam Pickard touched down again for Ventnor for it then to be disallowed by the referee.
Chineham were using the sun and the slope to their advantage in the second half and kicking a lot but with Ross Harris having a great game at full back Ventnor just ran it straight back and eventually ended with another try this time coming from Damien Marriott after the Ventnor pack were dominating in the scrum the ball came out and Marriott with a dummy pass opened up a gap for him to break through and score under the posts for him to then convert himself. Again Chineham came back strong and again Ventnor held strong and held up the ball from an attack that looked like the home side were going to score. A great win for Ventnor and now look to build from this.
Team: Dan Newberry, Scott Jesney, Sam Pickard, Damien Marriott, Ross Harris, Jake Babington, Jim Pemberton, Lewis Jones, Ed Blake, Ryan Cooper, Tobias Penner, Nathan Ricketts, Andy Woodman, Sam Lines, Fergus Kenny, Todd Riches, James Morley
Wight Link Man of the Match: Ross Harris
A.J. Wells Black Dog Award: Fergus Kenny
Ventnor 2nd XV 29-14 Millbrook
After a prolonged lay-off due to postponements and cancellations Ventnor were happy that Millbrook travelled over to a sun-drenched Isle of Wight to fulfil this fixture. It was a perfect opportunity to blast away the cobwebs and get the promotion challenge back on track.
It proved to be a tight game where Ventnor’s domination of the game is not fully reflected in the score line. Dogged defence by Millbrook and a lack of clinical finishing by Ventnor kept the score close and the match tense right up to the final whistle.
At the start of the match the exchanges were scrappy and Ventnor scored an early try with Silas Gregory diving over the line. Millbrook replied shortly after after a blistering run from their inside centre, leaving half the Ventnor team trailing in his wake.
Aaron Marriott was dictating the game from fly half and, along with some powerful running from the returning Wayne Williams, was starting to exert some real influence. His try soon followed. Following some fancy footballing skills Tom Engelgardt added a third. The set pieces were giving Ventnor solid attacking ball and excellent support play by Rob Ward and Dave Martin kept Ventnor on the front foot.
Gavin Davis kept us his terrific record this year with two typically bullocking runs which both resulted in tries in the second half. The second half also saw the tackle of the season by the evergreen Warren Riches who saved a certain tackle when the tryline seemed about to be broken. Diving full length to tap the twinkle-toed no.12 he kept Ventnor in the ascendancy. Even more evergreen Billy-Bob Engelgardt was introduced in the second half and his clever play and know-how were instrumental in Ventnor keeping discipline as things got tense.
Eventually Ventnor did concede a late try to Millbrook but, by then, Ventnor had done enough to take the points and keep the season heading in the right direction.
Wightlink Man of the Match Wayne Williams
AJ Wells Black Dog Award Allan Bridges (for nearly having to play the last five minutes with a dislocated shoulder)