Eastleigh RFC 2XV RFC 1XV 37 – 0 Ventnor RFC 1XV match report
Counties 3 Hampshire Saturday 11 November 2023
Stricken by injuries, player unavailable and last-minute call-offs, Ventnor RFC 1XV mixed and matched their team and put on a strong performance against an Eastleigh RFC 2XV team on a pitch that suited the home side’s weight and power.
Jason Cotham and George Collet did well in the line-out but the set scrum was under pressure all game which put Ben Souter at scrum-half under huge pressure. In the circumstances, he did extremely well but it resulted in slow ball for only half-fit Sam Lines at fly-half which meant little impact from Ventnor’s three-quarters.
Despite this Fred Fairman and Ed Blake kept themselves in the game in both attack and defence but Dylan Gray and Alan Fox on the wings got no ball at all but showed up well to resist the home attacks.
Eastleigh scored early on as Ventnor sorted out their new combinations after which they began to get into the match with Jason Coltham, Andy Teague, Dan Lythgoe and skipper Lewis Jones taking the game to the opposition with great support from Harvey Wheeler and Ben Savill.
It took a blatant offside from a knock-on from the home side to get them back up the field from where they scored a penalty followed by their second try just before half-time. This seemed to knock the current fragile confidence of Ventnor and that, plus injuries to Jones, Gray and Fox, meant that the Islanders never looked like making a comeback despite the repeated hard running of Jake Babington from the back and the persistence of Grant Richardson and replacements Will Harrison and Olly Wood.
The remarkable Tristan Price came on when Jones was injured and – as always – showed an appetite for the battle that was an inspiration to his fellows and Ventnor finished the game in attack that was halted just short of the line.
Final score 37 – 0.
With Lewis Jones and Harvey Wheeler both out with injuries, Ventnor need to work hard to get back to winning ways when they meet Havant 3rds at Watcombe next Saturday. There is no lack of effort and talent in the squad and it feels that it only needs a spark to ignite the potential of the group.
Team: Collett, Savill, Lythgoe, Teague, Richardson, H.Wheeler, Coltham, Jones (capt), Souter, Lines, Fox, Fairman, E.Blake, Gray, Babington. Subs: Price, Harrison and Wood.
The A J Wells Men of the Match: Jason Coltham
The Red Funnel Moment of the Match: Tristan Price
Coaches: Jason Evans and Clive Cardwell-Hill
Physio: Sarah Watt
Next week, Saturday 18 November 2023. Ventnor 1st XV play Havant 3rd XV at Watcombe. Kick off at 14:30
Match Report: JAMES MORTON
T: 07901 938 317
All fixtures are subject to change or cancellation at short notice.