After winning the coin toss, Southampton opted to play with the significant wind in the first half in the 1XV match. This looked like a great decision after a wayward ball bounced kindly for them to allow the home side to canter in for the first try of the game. However, it was clear both sides had strong attacking aims and very quickly Ventnor scored a try with Dominic Marsh crashing over for his first first-team try ever.
As both teams started to settle into the game, Southampton looked again to use the wind advantage. This paid dividends and another converted try was the reward. Ventnor picked up a gear following that, and scored 2 quick tries through Ben Cooper and Ed Blake. Todd Riches also kicked a penalty to put Ventnor 4 points ahead.
With not much time remaining until half time, Ventnor we’re looking forward to having the wind on their backs. Southampton would have the last say of the half though with a break away try.
Into the second half and it was clear that running into the wind all half had taken its toll. Southampton looked fresher for the first part of the second half and scored 3 tries in quick succession. However, they were now feeling the full force of the wind and Ventnor capitalised with a try from Todd Riches.
Ventnor then dominated possession for the rest of the match, but despite camping in the oppositions half, only managed to score 1 other try with Ed Blake picking up his second of the game.
Southampton 1XV 45 – 30 Ventnor 1XV
AJ Wells Man of the Match – Ben Cooper
Red Funnel Moment of the Match – James Pemberton
Team – Dawson, Jones, Pratt, Teague, Savill, Griggs, Marsh, Colson, Cooper, Riches, Fox, Pemberton, Lines, Atkins, Blake. Subs – Noyes, Turner.
Ventnor’s Mighty Lions – 2XV – also travelled away to Southampton RFC at the weekend.
Going from 11 to 8 players just 3 hours before kick off, they knew it would be a tough day. However, they managed to beg borrow and steal a few players from other clubs to eventually arrive with 13 And get the game underway.
Southampton started with the wind and used that to their advantage as they went 2 tries up in the first 10 minutes. The Lions hit back when debutant Grant Edwards managed to finish a great move. Warren Riches managed to covert making the score 10-7 – game on! This spurred Southampton in to finding a gap and going over for their 3rd try this one converted.
Now the lions realised how difficult the day was going to be. With this in their heads they managed to work they way up the pitch and earned a penalty try. Unfortunately Southampton managed to score again twice before the break making the half time score 27-14 to the home side.
Restarting the second half with the wind in their favour the Lions found their feet and after some great play Mark Tucker managed to roll of the back of a maul for his first of the day. The Lions kept up the pressure and after some great kicking from Matt Cripps and Warren Riches, Tucker managed to turn the ball over and head in for his second try making the score 27-26 with 12 minutes to go.
The Lions had all the play for the next 5 minutes and saw them come close a few times. Gareth Gough only narrowly missing out after a good run. Southampton managed to turn the ball over and on the break ran in for another converted try making the score 34-26. Despite spending the final 5 minutes camped on the Southampton try line, The Lions were unable to capitalise.
Southampton 2XV 34 – 26 Ventnor 2XV ‘The Mighty Lions’
AJ Wells Man of the Match – Grant Edwards
Red Funnel Moment of the Match – Mark Tucker
Team – Riches, Cripps, Bridges, G Gough, S Gough, Edwards, Tucker