Ventnor 1st XV excitedly set out for their first away game of the season on Saturday (29th September) but in the back of their heads knowing the Romsey 1st XV would be keen for revenge over an Isle of Wight team following their undermanned loss to Isle of Wight 1st XV the previous week.
Faced with a challenging prospect, the much changed Ventnor team came out fighting. It was clear from the offset Romsey’s forwards were no match for Ventnor’s and scrum dominance was achieved.
Spurred on by their loss the weekend before and following a tightly contested first 15 minutes, Romsey managed to find a weak spot in the Ventnor defence and scored several try’s and penalty kicks. The half time score of 33-0 did not reflect the extremely hard work put in by the Ventnor team.
After a morale boosting half time pep talk, the game was back on with strong performances from all the Ventnor team. Once again the scrum dominance shone through.
Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances a yellow card was given to Chris Hill and Ventnor were down to 14 men, but this didn’t deter their spirit but did allow Romsey the chance to capitalise on the reduced numbers finding the holes in the Ventnor defence and scored several more tries.
Ventnor refused to go down easily though and in the last 10 minutes proved this with a strong start to play followed by a dominating scrummage win. This was Ventnor’s chance to prove their determination and it paid off, receiving the ball from a ruck win. Debutant Ricky Keyes brushed the Romsey defence aside scoring Ventnor’s only try of the game but this represented more than just a try – it showed Ventnor’s sheer determination and heart to continue fighting no matter what the odds were.
3 first team debutants ran out for Ventnor at the weekend and fitted in seamlessly.
Romsey 69 – 5 Ventnor
AJ Wells Man of the Match – Ricky Keyes
Red Funnel Moment of the Match – Chris Hill
Team: Pratt, Jones, Keyes, Green, Teague, Colson, Hill, Gough, Roberts, Lines, Blake, Dawson, Edwards, Blow, Babington, Tucker, Hargreaves
Ventnor 2XV proved their depth of players with still being able to field a good, full team despite injuries meaning a lot of players travelling with the first team.
With a lot of players trying out new positions as they continue their development, co captains Jac Stemmet and Mike Flanagan were pleased with the way players showed relentless effort despite playing a far more experienced team.
Fordingbridge used their bigger pack to inflict most of the damage with great, powerful lines. However, as the game progressed, Ventnor started to quell this as defending systems improved with repetition.
The game wasn’t entirely fruitless as a valuable league point was gained keeping Ventnor 2XV inside the top 4 of the 15 team Hampshire 4 league. Promotion will be this years target and is very much achievable.
Ventnor 2XV 0 – 59 Fordingbridge 2XV
Team: Coates, Stemmet, Noyes, Davis, Adkins, Atkins, Flanagan, T Riches, Cripps, Wheeler, Gough, Davis, Hurst, Turner, W Riches