Romsey RFC 68-10 Ventnor RFC 1XV match report
Counties 3 Hampshire Saturday 20 January 2024
As ever, Ventnor started strongly with the returning Guy Entwistle setting the tone with a clattering tackle on the Romsey catcher and some great pressure from skipper Ben Savill and Will Harrison.
However, it was Romsey’s slick back play that had the first impact on the scoreboard with a try from the left winger under the posts. Somehow Layton Greatorex charged down the subsequent conversion!
To demonstrate the Islander’s hunger for the battle, a terrific catch and run from debutant Josh Rettie with support from Fred Fairman made ground up the left. But again luck was not with Ventnor as the ball went loose and Romsey scored again with some tremendous inter-passing.
Ventnor’s enthusiasm was counting against them as the referee had to have a word with Savill about his team’s sometimes wayward tackling. The subsequent penalties allowed Romsey to make ground up the left with some excellent touch finders and from a subsequent line-out they scored a third try.
Entwistle saw yellow for a dump tackle and while he was off, the ebullient Charlie Magnurson was hurt.
With two men down, Romsey were able to score a fourth try. Magnurson had to leave the field and James Green came on. After a couple of years on the sidelines, Green has been quickly getting back to his best form and his intelligent link play and clean-out ability at the rucks was very evident.
With half-time approaching Ventnor were determined not to concede again in the knowledge that the wind advantage in the second half was worth the 20 point deficit and Ed Blake pulled off a remarkable try saver by dispossessing Romsey’s winger in the art of scoring.
But from the line-out Romsey did get over for a try despite a forward pass in the move and Grant Richardson taking a bang in the face. Halftime arrived with Ventnor down by 27 points.
The powerful Richardson was unable to continue so ever-improving Callum Martin came on. This meant Fairman going into the back-row with Andy Teague and Entwistle – the latter, the only original member of the trio!
With this shuffling of personnel and Romsey’s influx of replacements, the home team were able to notch up another four tries in the half, but Ventnor had something to prove and scored two excellent tries of their own.
The first was initiated deep in their half from where Greatorex kicked for territory and the tireless George Collett and Entwistle secured the ball for Blake to force himself over the line.
Then another kick from Sam Lines caused panic in the home team’s twenty-two. Joel Cocks followed up and the ball was secured for Jason Coltham and Green to make ground before the A.J.Wells man of the match Ben Souter jinked over.
Although the scoreline suggested a major defeat, even the home team had to concede that Ventnor had provided a major challenge and were impressed by the Islander’s never-say-die attitude as they go through rebuilding season.
Team: Richardson, Collett, Harrison, Teague, Coltham, Savill (capt), Entwistle, C.Magnurson, Souter, Lines, E. Blake, Greatorex, Cocks, Fairman, Rettie
Subs: Green, Martin
Coaches: Jason Evans
, Clive Cardwell-Hill
Physio: Sarah Watt
Match Report: JAMES MORTON
Next Ventner RFC Fixtures – Saturday 27th January 2024
Next Saturday (27th January) there is a double header at Watcombe against Christchurch RFC 1sts and @nds. Kick-off from 12 noon:
Ventnor RFC 2XV v Christchurch RFC 2XV Counties Counties 5 Hampshire South West – kick-off 12 noon (TBC)
Ventnor RFC 1XV v Chichester RFC 1XV Counties 3 Hampshire 2023-24 fixture – tick-off 2pm (TBC)
T: 07901 938 317
Ventnor Rugby Club, Watcombe Bottom, Whitwell Road, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1LP – view on Google Maps
All fixtures are subject to change or cancellation at short notice.
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