Hampshire Division 2
Fawley RFC 31-38 Ventnor RFC 1st XV
Ventnor 1st team travelled to Fawley this week for a game that was always going to be physical from start to finish, and came out on top with their heads held high. With a few absences from the team fielded last week and players in positions they wouldn’t usually find themselves in Ventnor still managed to get a great victory over Fawley.
The game didn’t start off as well as Ventnor had hoped, with Fawley chipping the ball early on over the back line and with a lucky bounce the winger found the ball in his hands to touch it down over the try line. The same would happen in almost an instant replay of the previous try minutes later to take the home side 14 points into the lead. This seem to give Ventnor the wake up they needed and went straight back at the homes side with strong attacking play. Again as in the previous week Ventnor’s forwards were dominant in every part of their game winning near on every scrum and line out whether it was theirs or not.
The first Ventnor try would come from James Pemberton after some excellent work from the forwards driving them up the pitch, the ball then came out to the backs for Pemberton to break through the line and score and Sam Lines took up the kicking duties and converted. They would then go straight back at Fawley from the restart to even the score up, Danny Newbury making a surging run through the middle of the field with support from Sam Pickard and Harrison Marsh, getting them back inside the opposition half. Ventnor were awarded a scrum 5 meters away from the try line and with their dominance decided to drive the opposition forwards back over their own line, only for their flanker to loosen his bind and dive on the ball, the referee seeing this went on to award a penalty try bring Ventnor right back into the game. The home side were rattled and tempers began to flair which saw a Fawley player sin binned and in another incident have Newbury go off with a cut to the head. Ventnor managed to keep their heads and continued to play aggressive fair rugby resulting in another try before half time. With Lines taking control of the kicking they kept the pressure on with the back three of Tommy Engelgardt, Jake Babington and Ed Blake chasing down each one, great support play from the forwards again saw them in oppositions half and this time from the back of a ruck Paul Berry scored by giving the man in front a dummy pass to create space for him to go over the line.
The second half started much like the first for Ventnor and remained in their own half for long periods of time as they allowed Fawley to attack and gain the upper hand by scoring two more trys. Much like the first half this again shook Ventnor and got them going again. With the captain Todd Riches leading by example and driving the team up the pitch, again with excellent support play by the likes of Gareth Davies and Tobias Penner Ventnor found themselves within 5 meters of the try line again. Tristan (Beast) Price picked the ball from the back of a ruck to growl and throws himself over the line to score a very rare try for the prop forward. With Fawley not a team to lie down and take it them came back strong but Ventnor managed to hold them off with determination and hard work from everyone on the pitch. Nearing the end of the game Ventnor were still working and were driving forward with plays working well from the line outs and big runs from Lewis Jones and Gavin Davis trying to punch holes in the defence eventually Berry managed to find himself some space with the ball and crash through to score the final try of the game.
A well fought contest and a great result for Ventnor on their first away game of the season. Let’s keep it going.
Team: D.Newbury, L.Jones, T.Price, J.Morley, S.Pickard, H.Marsh, G.Davies, T.Riches, P.Berry, S.Lines, J.Pemberton, G.Davis, J.Babington, E.Blake, T. Engelgardt subs: A.Pratt, A.Gilbert, T.Penner
Wight Link Man Of The Match: Paul Berry (for out and out commitment) &
Danny Newbury (for his restraint and apparent change in mind set from the previous week)
A.J.Wells Black Dog Award: Tobias Penner (for missing the boat)
Hampshire Merit League (North)
Ventnor RFC 2nd XV 0 – 29 Portsmouth RFC Veterans
Make no mistake Portsmouth Vets are a very good team who win a lot of games by far more points than this. They will find a lot of games a lot easier than they found this one against a doggedly determined Ventnor II team who didn’t give up and got better and better as the game went on.
A powerful Portsmouth pack set a solid base for the type of attacking play from a Vets team who always looked in control and were on the front foot for nearly 80 minutes.
It was an afternoon of tackling and scrambling defence by Ventnor II with the pack once again led by the evergreen Dean Magnurson who threw his body on the line from start to finish. The backs never got the chance to attack with any regularity and only the breakaways from Ross Harris offered any threat. For the majority of the game our wingers were reduced to spectators or busy making crunching tackles to stem the tide.
The introduction of Shaun Williams at half time led to a change in the game if not the actual result. Suddenly Ventnor II managed to get on the front foot and Trevor Heal coming in to the second row to join the hard-working George Marinelli encouraged the pack and gave parity in the scrum. Some strong running from Rob Simpson in the loose and a good kicking game from Aaron Marriott and Warren Riches provided some glimmers of hope for future matches.
In an afternoon of big tackles and hard work against a very good, very well drilled team it was encouraging to see Ventnor II get better as the game went on. It was a lesson in how to control a game – one that Ventnor II will take on the chin and improve from. If Ventnor II continue to tackle like that and have more of the ball against some of the other teams in the league they will certainly win more games than not.
Wightlink Man of the Match: Shaun Williams
AJ Wells Black Dog award: James Blake
Team: Stemmet, Saville, Simpson, Marinelli, Blake, Pettifer, Winter, Magnurson, A Marriott, Bridges, Davies, Draper, Harris, Cripps, Riches. Subs: Adkins, Bolton, Heal, Ross, Newnham, Williams
Saturday 4th October marks the 40th Anniversary of Ventnor RFC’s first home game way back in 1974. Both the 1st and 2nd XV have home matches against Millbrook and Stoneham respectively. All are welcome to come and celebrate our anniversary in style.