Ventnor RFC 1XV 7-55 Fareham Heathens RFC 1XV match report
Counties 3 Hampshire Saturday 25 November 2023
Ventnor’s season in Hampshire Counties Three continues to disappoint but the spirit of the team and its supporters remains high as the performances belie the difficult times the club is going through as the injury list grows. Jake Babington led out the team against the high-flying Fareham Heathens team who were on top form and will surely be contesting for top honours at the end of the season.
To the delight of their travelling support, who had obviously arrived straight from Dodge City, the visitors scored five tries in the first half and converted four of them so the game was pretty much over as a contest before the break but these bare facts don’t tell the true story.
Ventnor were the first to show as Babington snaked his way up-field and found the A J Wells man of the match Ben Souter whose pace took him up the left touchline to within ten metres of the line. Ventnor’s problems started in the lineout where the Islanders missed the aerobatic Joe Coghlan so that Lewy Morton was the only catching option. This put huge pressure on Morton and stand-in hooker Will Harrison and little came from this element.
The set scrum was also struggling against the massive Heathens’ pack but somehow George Collett, Harrison and the redoubtable Tristan Price did well to withstand the power but – once again – Souter was tasked with cleaning up scruffy ball at the base. In open play, Ventnor showed some positive skills with the balanced second-row pair of Jason Coltham and Andy Teague putting in the hard yards whilst Grant Richardson was a powerful presence in both attack and defence.
Richardson continues to improve with every match and his physicality is a huge bonus to the squad. Harry Colson’s power was also on display and, as his fitness continues to improve, his work in attack and defence provided many bright moments. Morton had his usual all-action game in which he covered every blade of grass as his tackle count rose exponentially. One such tackle was a certain try-saver as the Heathens’ giant left winger powered towards the line.
Behind the scrum, fly-half Tom Crews was receiving ball under immense pressure and did an exceptional job of clearing his lines or getting his backs moving. Ben Cooper and Joel Cocks – the latter welcomed back to the team – paired up in the centres where Cooper’s power running and Cocks’ pace and footwork made a fine impression while Fred Fairman had a great game in a losing cause on the left wing.
On the other wing, Ed Blake displayed his usual desire to be in the midst of the action and his acceleration and balance often took him into the heart of the opposition.
With a half-time score of 0 – 33, many a team would have waved the white flag and allowed a cricket score to ensue but it says a great deal about this Ventnor team that they resisted the Heathens as Layton Greatorex, Will Broomfield and Jack Rushton came on to reinforce the fabric of the side.
The set scrum began to steady as the visitors tired and some clever variations in the line-out paid dividends. Broomfield, Colson, Teague and Coltham took the game to the opposition with some neat pick and gos.
Fairman crashed through two defenders and was just brought down short of the line. Cooper also nearly made it as Ventnor laid siege to the visitors’ line before Souter and Crews fed Colson who crashed over for the long-awaited Ventnor try which Cooper converted.
Final score 7 – 55
Team: Collett, Harrison, Price, Coltham, Teague, Richardson, Colson, L.Morton, Souter, Crews, Fairman, Cooper, Cocks, E.Blake, Babington (capt).
Subs: Rushton, Broomfield, Greatorex
Coaches: Jason Evans
, Clive Cardwell-Hill
Physio: Sarah Watt
Ventnor RFC would like to thank our match sponsors for the day, namely: Bill Nichols, Dean Magnurson, James Morton, Jeannette Adams, Alan Whitehouse, Stuart Babington, Mike Toomey, Nigel Malkin, TJ’s Gym and Fitness Studio and Yates’ Brewery.
Match Report: JAMES MORTON
Next Ventner RFC 1XV Fixture – Saturday 2nd December 2023
T: 07901 938 317
All fixtures are subject to change or cancellation at short notice.
Ventnor RFC 1XV have played 9 games, won 1, lost 8, with 6 points in the Counties 3 Hampshire League 2023-24 table, as at 26 November 2023
Fundraiser to get Luke Orton home – fundraiser November 2023
A reminder that Luke’s family have recently launched a fundraiser to get Luke home.
‘Weʼre raising £20,000 for adaptations needed to get Luke home after a rugby accident left him paralysed and without the use of his hands.’
Luke suffered a serious life-changing injury on 22nd July 2023, while taking part in a beach rugby tournament on the Isle of Wight. He suffered a broken neck, also suffering spinal cord damage, including a bleed, leaving him paralysed from the chest down and without use of his hands. Luke has been hospitalised since the accident happened.
Sadly, Luke will be coming home in a wheelchair, with little chance of walking again. It has been a really tough time for Luke, spending 6 weeks in Southampton ICU spinal unit before being transferred to Salisbury District Hospital, Spinal Treatment Centre, where he is undergoing rehab. He works hard and has a positive attitude but it is long road ahead.
Luke is looking forward to coming home next year and for this to happen, we need to raise funds for adaptations for the areas in the home, which are not covered by the local authority. All the money raised here will go entirely towards the adaptations for Luke’s needs. We would really appreciate any contributions, whatever the amount.
We would also welcome any offer of labour with the work, whatever time you could spare and the possible supply of any materials, either from small local businesses or local suppliers – please send a message via this page.Thank you everyone – Luke and family.Thank you everyone – Luke and family.