Rugby: After two weeks off, Ventnor 1st XV returned to action against 2nd place Petersfield at the weekend.
Previously in the season, Ventnor’s visit to their opposition had resulted in a heavy defeat for the Islanders but now, bolstered by the return of Damien Marriott and fly half Fergus Kenny, Ventnor gave a strong account of themselves.
The game started well for Ventnor as Kenny kicked a simple penalty for an early lead. This was cancelled out shortly after with Petersfield making it 3-3.
Both teams were defending well and play mostly occurred in the midfield. One of the away teams main attacking threats was from their fast outside backs but Ventnor’s defence nullified this.
Petersfield were the first to score a try as their scrum half ran onto an offload and scored under the posts. In the process Ventnor were down to 14 as a yellow card was shown to Justinas Urbonas. Ventnor scored their first try through captain Andrew Gough as he chipped down the pitch and touched down making the half time score 8-10.
The second half had the same intensity as the first with both teams showing real grit. Once again though Petersfield extended their lead with a break away try. Ventnor responded quickly. Sam Lines picked a superb line and was just thwarted before he could make the line. Grant Richardson carried the offload over the line with his first touch of the ball after coming on as a sub. The home side had a couple of very good chances to take the lead and were unlucky not to. Petersfield scored another try but failed to convert. This gave Ventnor a bonus point and on reflection most would have taken that before the game happily.
The game also saw the first outing for the new Ventnor RFC scoreboard, kindly donated by Mike Hughson. Unfortunately its first outing was not in favour of Ventnor RFC but it is most definitely a welcome addition to the match day set up.
Ventnor take on Farnborough on Sunday at home in the cup semi-final.
Final Score: Ventnor 1st XV 15-22 Petersfield 1st XV
AJ Wells Man of the Match – James Morley
Ventnor Haven Fishery Cod Eye of the Day – Lewis Jones
Team – Price, Tucker, Pratt, Morley, Riches, Jones, Dawson, Gough, Clarke, Kenny, Blow, Lines, Babington, Urbonas, Marriott. Subs- Stemmet, Richardson, Harris.
Match report contributed