Ellingham & Ringwood 18 IWRFC 15
In wet, windy and muddy conditions these two sides battled out a classic bottom of the table clash. Ellingham, opting to use the elements in the first half, struggled at the set scrum throughout the game, where front row Dave Tanner, Dan Tennant and Martin Newnham were dominant. With the driving play of Ollie Boulter and Andy Brown constantly making yards against the rain, IW played well in the early stages. However, as Ellingham launched a ball deep in to the Island’s 22, an unfortunate defensive slip allowed them to score.
The Island defence was ferocious and constantly held the home side at bay with Rouse Intelligent Solutions man of the Match Alex Hay ably supported by Andi Raunigger. However when finally stretched, the defence was breached out wide.
From the kick off the Island fought back and applied pressure of their own. Debutant Matt Vann crashed over, with Harry Dye adding the kick for a half time score of 12-7.
With the focus of pinning their hosts in their own half, the Island laid siege for long sections of the half. Back three Andy Rann, Dan Stirrup and Mikey Wood ran back kicked ball to keep up the pressure and despite losing Dye to a yellow card, were kept on the front foot by veteran Neil Brading, hard running from Brett Evans and the introduction of Rich Freeman. This pressure resulted in Ryan Stewart crossing out wide to bring the scores all square. Back came Ellingham immediately to slot a penalty.
With 10 minutes left the visitors continued to press and turned down three penalties which would have yielded a draw, determined to look for the win. Despite constantly battering the home line they were only left with the consolation of a bonus point. This performance had all the grit and determination of a side that will not lie down and signals the continued improvement of the last few weeks.
Next Saturday, 21st November IWRFC host Petersfield for the 1sts and Millbrook 2nds for the 2s, kick offs at 2-00, preceded by a Vice Presidents lunch.
IWRFC: D Stirrup, A Rann, N Brading, M Vann, M Wood, H Dye, B Evans, R Stewart, A Hay, A Brown, O Boulter, A Raunigger, M Newnham, D Tennant, D Tanner, R Freeman, D Metcalfe