Fawley 34 – 14 Ventnor
Ventnor traveled with only a bear 15 players to a team who sat 1 place below them in the league.
Despite this Ventnor were keen for an upset and kicked off to immediately have a run at the try line. Unfortunately the referee deemed flanker Harrison Marsh to be holding on to the ball. Fawley took a kick off the scrum and camped in Ventnor’s 22. This resulted in a penalty in front of the posts for Fawley which looked certain to be converted but it got the post and Ventnor drilled it back into the other half.
Strong runs from Gavin Davis and James Morley hammered the defence of the oppopsion. Jake Babington was forced from the pitch with a nasty back injury which meant manager Nigel Malkin had to put some boots on and came into the pack. Paul Berry moved into outside centre. After this the start of a Fawley onslaught came which saw them through to the half with a winning margin of 29 – 0.
In the break Ventnor had a chance to regroup and riled up they started the second half well and got a penalty which Fergus Kenny tapped and run at the line to pop to Berry who touched down to get Ventnor’s first points. Damien Marriott converted.
This marked the start of Ventnor’s domination. All game they stopped Fawleys main attack option which was their driving maul. Many a penalty was won off of this. After sustained pressure in Fawleys 22, Ventnor scored a try through Danny Newbery. In the aftermath, Fawley had a player sin binned for cynical behaviour.
Lewis Jones was making some superb tackles and with the fire power of Adam Pratt running off the break down with Andy Gilbert in support Ventnor were marching up the pitch.
Fawley then broke the momentum Ventnor were building with another try. After this the game saw it self out in broken passages of play as Fawley were living up to their reputation of fighting and cynical play. Which the referee was blind to in many circumstances.
Overall Ventnor were disappointed that they didn’t get something out of the game that they probably deserved.
Wightlink Man of the match – Harrison Marsh for being a thorn in the side of Fawley at every occasion.
AJ Wells Black Dog Award – Jake Babington
Team – Gilbert, Newbery, Pratt, Jesney, Morley, Marsh, Jones, Berry, Kenny, Marriott, Blake, Davis, Babington, Clarke, Harris.
Manager/Player/Commentator – Nigel Malkin
Ventnor II 67 Southampton II 10
Southampton travelled to Ventnor without a full squad and instantly threw down the gauntlet of playing 14 to Ventnor’s 15. Refusing the offer of their 16th man on the bench. This put the pressure on the home side to punish the visitors for their over confidence. The scores came in thick and fast against the visitors from some impressive vision and skill from the backs, Tommo Engelgardt making the most of his support.
As the first half came to an end Southampton saw the error of their ways and immediately asked for the sides to be evened up, taking the Ventnor substitute. Once the overlap was equalled Southampton managed to run in two tries against a lacklustre defence. This proved to spur on the home side and with the use of the ever dominate Ventnor forward pack, creating a platform for its backs to move forward.
The technical ability of the pack was showcased by winning all the line outs and scrums, both their own and against the head. This was topped off by scores from two prop forwards Stemmet and Price. The final score has echoed throughout their league with Ventnor currently in Third position and Promotion fully within their grasp.
Wightlink Man of The Match, Engelgardt.
A.J. Wells Black Dog Award Savill
Squad: Newbery, Savill, Price, Bradshaw, Ross, Pettifer, Stemmet, Cooper, Bridges, Dovale, Drapper, Ward, Engelgardt, Riches. Substitute’s Wilson.