New Milton RFC 2XV 29-19 Ventnor RFC 2XV match report


New Milton RFC 2XV 29-19 Ventnor RFC 2XV match report

Counties 5 Hampshire South West, Saturday 16 March 2024

Without a game since before Christmas due to teams not travelling to the Island,Ventnor 2nd XV had to resort to extra training sessions to prepare for this top-of-the-table clash against their unbeaten New Milton RFC 2XV rivals.

Despite the home team fielding a massed squad, it was the Islanders who started the strongest with tremendous drives by Bob Parker and Harry Colson taking them close to the New Milton line from where Ross Harris and Dan Muir engineered a move that sent Gary Ball barrelling over for a try that Warren Riches converted with only three minutes gone. Ventnor kept up the pressure but lost both the veteran Dean Magnurson and Kyle Draper early which severely compromised the effectiveness of their line-out which remained an issue for the duration of the game.

With Ball, Bradley Francis and skipper Jack Rushton fronting up a powerful pack in the set piece, it was more comfortable at scrum-time and Harris was in his usual ebullient form mixing up the moves and putting the powerful Will Broomfield and James Green (on for Draper) into the midst of the home defence from where Muir worked Jim Pemberton and Layton Greatorex into the open spaces wider out. However further injuries disrupted the flow of Ventnor’s strategies with Harris sidelined before New Milton scored again.

Jack Gilbey came on for his debut whilst the excellent Harry Ottley moved to scrumhalf and Ventnor held out to halftime with the score 12 – 7 to the home side.

New Milton RFC 2XV 29-19 Ventnor RFC 2XV match report
New Milton RFC 2XV 29-19 Ventnor RFC 2XV match report

Rushton got his team together to reinforce the tactics for the second half but some cruel bounces in the puddles of the in-goal area counted against the visitors leading to two tries to New Milton.

However, Ventnor also had their moments with Chris Skelley leading the way with some storming drives with Colson and Gavin Davis in support. From one such, Bloomfield and Ewan Castle carried on the move which Skelley himself finished off with a try that summed up Ventnor’s determination not to go down without a fight.

New Milton were using their extensive bench to good effect and scored their final points with an excellent move down their left but Ventnor had the last word as Iain Reeves – another debutant – secured possession for Bob Parker to crash over thus completing a hat trick of tries for the front row union! Riches converted as the final whistle blew to confirm that New Milton have secured the League Five South championship despite a mighty challenge from Ventnor’s burgeoning 2nd XV who suffered from a lack of rugby at the critical time in their campaign.

However, there are still two games remaining in the season – assuming US Portsmouth 2nds and Portsmouth 3rds travel – so there are opportunities to further develop their game and prepare for a renewed challenge for the next season.

team photo Ventnor RFC 2nd XV v New Milton RFC 2XV 16 March 2024
team photo Ventnor RFC 2nd XV v New Milton RFC 2XV 16 March 2024

Image: James Morton

Team. Rushton (capt), Francis, Ball, Parker, Colson, D.Magnurson, Draper, Bloomfield, Harris, Muir, Ottley, Pemberton, Greatorex, G.Davis, W.Riches
Subs: Skelley, Reeves, Green, C.Magnurson, Castle, Gilbey, Fox, Brown

The A J Wells Men of the Match: Gary Ball
The Red Funnel Moment of the Match: Alan Fox

Match Report: JAMES MORTON

Best Regards


Ventnor RFC
T: 07901 938 317

All fixtures are subject to change or cancellation at short notice.