Sandown exploded out of the blocks, and not for the bounce of the ball, would have scored within the first minute. Yet, the home side were not to be denied for too long, after the forwards battered the away defence, Sam Dawson barged his way over for the first score.
This was soon followed up by a score from hooker turned flanker, and Man of the Match, Zak Chiverton, who excelled in the wider spaces. using his pace to find a gap and sprint under the sticks. Moments laters quick thinking from Flux saw him score, after taking a quick tap penalty on the 5-metre line and burrowing over. Sam Tyson secured the Hurricanes bonus point within the first half hour, and the home side were up 26-0.
Rob Newton Jnr made it 5 unanswered tries, when he received a smart pass from Dawson to set him free in the 5-metre channel and score in the corner, 33 – 0. It wasn’t all Sandown’s way in the first half, as within the dying moments, Millbrook got themselves a score in the corner making it 33 – 5 at the half time interval.
The visitors struck first in the second half, scoring a try out wide, 33-12. This was followed up by the Hurricanes increasing their advantage, following some excellent carrying from debutante Alex Smith, and hooker Connor King, the home side worked their way into the opposition 22. Then with another quick tap penalty, Flux fed Richomme of charged over the line for Sandown’s first score of the second half, 38 – 12.
Then injuries began to take the toll, with Chiverton leaving the field after suffering a hip injury, and sadly King’s game was brought short when he had sadly broken his collarbone in contact. With the Hurricanes on the backfoot, Millbrook saw their opportunity and struck with two tries to cut the deficit to 38 – 26.
Making matters worse, Sandown received to yellow cards in a matter of minutes, with Barrett and Dawson both being sin-binned. Down to thirteen men, the Hurricanes defended manfully, and held the charging visitors at bay, until tired legs saw them concede with supposedly not much time on the clock, 38 – 31. When the sin bins finally came back on to the field of play, another 12 minutes of play was found, and despite this, the Hurricanes managed to hold firm and deny the hopeful Millbrook side a match tying sixth try.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC 38 – 31 Millbrook RFC
The mighty Hurricanes 2nd XV made the short trip across the Solent to New Milton, but did so with only 9 players. Eventually, one more turned up to allow Sandown to start the game and traveling in such circumstances, some would believe it would have been folly to do so.
Nevertheless, the character that was shown by the fearsome contingent that made the trip not only worthwhile but brought it’s just rewards. Tries from Villiame ‘Bill’ Vatirewa and the returning Harvey Kirkby got the 2nd XV on the way, but a hat-trick from centre Stephen Perfect put the Hurricanes well on the way to getting something from fixture.
There were also two other tries scored by players lent from the hosts. Mitch Farrant managed to convert four conversions to provide the margin to help the team taste victory.
Man of the Match was awarded to Linton Cider for his tireless work throughout the game.
New Milton & District RFC 3rd XV 36 – 43 Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV