Sandown & Shanklin RFC welcomed Eastleigh RFC to the Fairway for the Quarter Final of the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday, only 1 of the 2 games actually played in this round of the competition, with 2 other quarter finals not being played due to walkovers.
The hosts sit at the top of Hampshire Premier, whilst the visitors currently sat in 3rd in London South West, 2 leagues above the Hurricanes.
The opening period began brightly between the 2 sides, as both probed each other early on to get an opening. Eastleigh struck first after about 10 minutes when the scrum half dummied and caught the Hurricanes defence flat footed. A strong period of possession for the Hurricanes followed, and Man of the Match Sam Tyson was causing the opposition defence some questions with his quick feet.
As the away side gave away a few penalties at the breakdown the hosts had opportunities to attack the Eastleigh try line, but their own discretion cost them and allowed Eastleigh to clear their lines. The visitors racked up a further 5 tries in the first, as the visitors ended the half 0-36 ahead.
During the second half, the Hurricanes were desperate to get a score on the board, however the staunch and stingy visiting defence were not having any of it. Strong carrying from replacement Gregor Dean and Rob Newton was gaining some headway, however the blanket defence from the opposition was difficult to breakdown. Some excellent handling at stages from Owen Williams and Zak Chiverton was starting to get headway, but at a critical moment an intercept try took the wind out of the sails and all but secured the result for Eastleigh.
Another whirlwind attacking move from the visitors meant they had scored a double salvo and really kicked the game into touch, with a sweeping move that all could not help but admire. Despite the deficit in the scoreline the home side matched the Eastleigh scrum and could hold their own in some areas, but the fitness was now lacking and creating massive holes in the home side’s defences.
All but 1 try from the opposition came from their back line, just representing how clinical their play was, when the ball was spun down the line. The final score finishing at 0-79 to Eastleigh.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC 0 – 79 Eastleigh RFC
The full match report can be found on the Sandown & Shanklin RFC website.