Ventnor RFC 1XV 3-31 Locksheath Pumas RFC Sat 12 November 2022 Match Report
In this Counties 3 Hampshire League game Ventnor RFC 1XV came up against a strong and well-drilled Locksheath Pumas RFC and paid the price for not being able to retain controlled possession through the phases despite some excellent play throughout the game.
Locksheath were good on the counter and this led to some desperate defence at times and too many penalties which gave the opposition field position from which to launch further attacks. There was no score until the twenty-fifth minute of the game when Locksheath scores a try from a drive close to the line.
Before that, Ventnor were well in the game and could have taken the lead with a Todd Riches penalty that skimmed the post. As ever the front row of Ben Savill, skipper Lewis Jones and George Collett were holding their own at scrum time where Locksheath’s illegal binding was pinged several times by the referee.
It was good to see Harry Colson back in the starting lineup after a long time away with a knee injury. His abrasive attitude in attack and defence was very evident as he linked up with the ever-industrious Andy Teague in the second row.
Ventnor’s back row of Joe Coghlan, Lewis Morton and Dan Bell were not as evident as usual in attack – possibly because there were so few completed scrums which denied Bell his usual launching pad – but their support and defence was exemplary with Morton putting in a remarkable shift in terms of tackle count which deservedly won him the A J Wells man of the match award.
Riches had a great game at flyhalf, benefitting from Louis Malkin’s slick service and varying the attack with short passes to the hard-running Andy Addison at inside centre or using the boot for position or for the chasing George Finan and Ed Blake. Finan didn’t get too many chances to run with the ball but when he did, he always looked a threat and, in defence, one memorable tackle resulted in a seismic event as he took the Locksheath winger into touch.
Ventnor’s coaches regularly swapped out players with Jake Babington coming on early for Blake who then returned when Riches damaged his elbow and left the field for a spell. Dean Magnurson came on for Coghlan whose lineout work had been outstanding and the veteran shored up the defence around the rucks and set piece whilst Tristan Price took over from Collett in the front row for the last fifteen minutes of the game.
Ventnor threatened on several occasions with Jones very conspicuous with his drives up the centre whilst Sam Lines mixed up his gliding runs with little kicks over the top to allow the rapid Chris Cardwell-Hill to pressurise the defence.
However, the record will show that Locksheath scored two tries in either half when Ventnor allowed gain line advantages from rare missed tackles whilst the home team still need to build phases together to match the visitor’s efficiency.
A J Wells Man of the Match: Lewis Morton
Red Funnel Moment of the Match: James Blake
Team: Savill, Jones (capt), Pratt, Collett, Teague, Colson, L.Morton, Coghlan, Bell, Malkin, T.Riches, Finan, Addison, Lines, E.Blake, Cardwell-Hill. Subs: Price, D.Magnurson, Babington.
Coaches. Jason Evans, Fergus Kenny and Clive Cardwell-Hill.
Physio: Emily Faithfull
Ventnor RFC would like to thank our match sponsors for the day, namely: Cridmore Farm, Dan Noyes Sports Massage Therapy, Flowers for You, G L Harding Building Solutions, Gamson Gray Design and Media, Groundsell Contracting Ltd, Ingrams Building Contractors and Inspiration Fabrication.
Match Report: James Morton
Ventnor RFC 1XV’s next fixture is on Saturday 19 Nov 2022 away to Overton RFC in the Counties 3 Hampshire league 2022-23 game.
For more information, please contact JAMES MORTON Ventnor RFC T: 07901 938 317