Ventnor 1st Xv V Gosport & Fareham 2nds 260322


Ventnor Rugby Club CrestVentnor had a comfortable home victory against Gosport & Fareham on Saturday (26th March).

Ventnor started this game with an all-court display of pace and execution with Dan Bell catching the ball from the kick off and setting up Dean Magnurson for a big charge up field. The ball was recycled quickly, and Chris Hill at scrum half was able to get quick ball out to Luke Butler whose long miss-pass gave Tom Crews a run to the line for an excellent try. This was a great way to initiate Magnurson’s 50th birthday celebration, and this remarkable servant to Ventnor Rugby Club was loudly cheered throughout the game. The home team kept up their pressure with a performance that belied their recent form, but they failed to match their early accuracy and several chances went begging.

Once again Ventnor’s scrum was on top with Ben Savill and the timeless Tristan Price putting pressure on their opposite numbers in the set while Joe Coghlan ruled the airways at the lineout once skipper Lewis Jones found his range. James Morley and Magnurson did a great deal of the heavy lifting, taking the ball up, working hard at the rucks, and taking on the willing Gosport and Fareham runners. Dan Bell as ever was at his imperious best, picking up at the back of the scrum and taking the ball forward with great support from Savill, Jones, and Lewis Morton, who had a cracking game in attack and defence where his tackling statistics were off the scale.

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Butler pulled the strings at flyhalf, mixing up his game with short passes to put Sam Lines or Louis Wyatt through gaps, miss-passes to the wide channels to Ed Blake and Cory Turner or with raking kicks that turned the tiring Gosport and Fareham pack and kept his team on the front foot. Meanwhile, at full back, Tom Crews continued his scoring spree by adding four penalties to his first half try.

Half time: Ventnor 1st XV 17-0 Gosport and Fareham 2nd XV

The 2nd half was a more even contest with Ventnor falling foul of the referee on occasion. Gosport and Fareham began to get a foothold in the game and began to put pressure on Ventnor’s scrum. George Collett came on for Price to make his 1st team debut and acquitted himself well in tricky circumstances. Alex Morton – on for Turner – stopped a promising move with a devastating tackle but eventually the dam cracked, and a try was scored to bring the score back to 17 – 7 with about 20 minutes to go. However, Ventnor made no mistake this time and another long clearance from Butler set up a position from which Bell and Hill put the flyhalf through a gap and his pass found Harvey Wheeler who cantered over under the posts to put the game to bed.

Full time: Ventnor 1st XV 24-7 Gosport and Fareham 2nd XV

Ventnor:  Price, Jones (capt), Savill, D.Magnurson, Morley, Coghlan, L.Morton, Bell, Hill, Butler, Blake, Lines, Wyatt, Turner, Crews.  Subs: Collett, A.Morton, H.Wheeler, Fox.

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The A.J. Wells Man of the Match:  Dean Magnurson

Red Funnel Moment of the Match:  George Collett

Ventnor’s 1st XVs next fixture is against Isle of Wight 1st XV at Wootton on 2nd April. On the same day, Ventnor 2nd XV travel to the mainland to face Chichester 3rd XV.

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