Aldershot and Fleet RFC 31-26 Ventnor RFC 1XV match report
Counties 3 Hampshire Saturday 2 December 2023
There were real signs of progress as Ventnor’s 1st XV travelled to play Aldershot and Fleet RFC and suffered a narrow defeat in a game that could have gone either way, in the Counties 3 Hampshire League 2023-24.
Hampered by delays in their travel arrangements as the fog played havoc with the ferry services, Ventnor arrived just twenty minutes before kick-off so it was no surprise when they were two tries down in the first ten minutes.
However, as the Islanders warmed to their task, there were definite signs that the balance of the game was beginning to change as Ben Savill, leading from the front, made progress into the heart of the opposition whose tackling was often found wanting. Grant Richardson and Andrew Teague were prominent in the support of the runner whilst Will Harrison had a great game in his second start as hooker.
The combination of Joe Coghlan, Lewy Morton and Guy Entwistle looked good as a back-row unit in which Entwistle was at his abrasive best while Coghlan and Morton were ubiquitous in all phases of play. The scrum was still creaking at times but the lineout was much improved with Harrison consistently finding Coghlan and Morton to provide quality ball for Ben Souter and his backs.
Despite this improvement, Ventnor suffered a further setback when a kick ahead by Aldershot gave them a platform from which they scored a pushover try to increase their lead to 19 – 0. Ventnor hit back when Ben Cooper combined with Joel Cocks to take the ball deep into the opposition half. The ball went loose but Tom Crews did brilliantly to rescue the faltering move and Ed Blake was able to force his way over for a try that Crews converted.
Ventnor were on the charge now and a powerful line-out maul led by Coghlan summed up Ventnor’s ascendancy. The half finished with a score of 19 – 7 to Aldershot.
Ventnor made a statement with a stunning start to the second half as Morton claimed the ball from the kick-off and with support from Dylan Gray and George Collett – having yet another storming game – set up a quick-fire ruck from which Souter forced a penalty. Morton took the quick tap and put Blake in for his second try. Crews again converted and the Islanders were back in the game.
Frustratingly they failed to capitalise on their momentum as the game became scrappy and niggly and Ventnor’s discipline was tested as the referee walked them back twice for some back-chat. Thus Aldershot made ground and scored from the front of a line out as the Islanders were still smarting from their own self-imposed retreat.
Savill laid down the law and Ventnor got back into the game as Fred Fairman made progress up-field. Morton was high-tackled and another quick tap saw the all-action Dan Lythgoe – on for Richardson – power over for a try. Crews narrowly missed the conversion but Ventnor were on the ascendancy.
However, the turning point of the game came when Aldershot were awarded a try from their excellent No 8 which many felt included not only a knock-on but also a foot in touch.
This score extended the home team’s advantage to 31 – 19 but Ventnor never took their foot off the gas as Callum Martin came on for Gray and the Islanders went back on the attack and yet another tap penalty gave Blake a deserved hat-trick to bring the game to within one score.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as time ran out for the Islanders and the final whistle blew with the score at 31 – 26
Most felt that this was a game that got away from Ventnor through their own inability to capitalise on their own skills combined with some basic errors which allowed the opposition to turn defence into forward momentum.
However, Ventnor will take great heart from this performance as the two bonus points gained lifted them from the foot of the table with the added prospect of their four closest rivals still due to visit Watcombe in the new year.
Team. Collett, Harrison, Savill (capt), Teague, Richardson, Coghlan, L. Morton, Entwistle, Souter, Cooper, Fairman, Crews, E.Blake, Gray, Cocks.
Subs: Lythgoe, Martin, Fox
Coaches: Jason Evans
, Clive Cardwell-Hill
Physio: Sarah Watt
Match Report: JAMES MORTON
Next Ventner RFC Fixtures – Saturday 9 December 2023
Next Saturday (9th December) Ventnor RFC 1sts entertain Overton RFC at Watcombe. Kick-off at 14:00
T: 07901 938 317
All fixtures are subject to change or cancellation at short notice.
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.