Dan Muir, centre, in action. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
RUGBYSandown and Shanklin 29, KCS Old Boys 13
SANDOWN went level on points with leaders Old Alleynians in London South West 3 after defeating another title challenger, KCS Old Boys, at the Fairway on Saturday.
Playing on the club’s second pitch as their main ground was frozen, Sandown produced a stunning first-half display which knocked the stuffing out of the London club.
They started with real intent, with accurate running and kicking despite playing into the low winter sun. And they had the perfect start when, after just four minutes, Alan Morey charged down a clearance kick and ran over, the try converted by Wightlink man of the match Neil Buckingham.
KCS, which stands for Kings College School, kicked a penalty shortly afterwards but their constant infringements in the ruck failed them, and Sandown kicked two further penalties to put a ten-point gap between the sides.
Things got even better for Sandown when, after winning a five-metre scrum under KCS’s posts, Luke Chandler collected the ball and ran a great angle to score, with Buckingham converted.
And if there was any doubt that luck was on their side as well, a Buckingham penalty kick minutes later, from the half way line, bounced in off the crossbar.
The two sides traded penalties before the break, making it 26-6, with Sandown well in control.
In the second half, Buckingham extended Sandown’s lead with another kick but KCS sprang into life and forced Sandown behind their ten-metre line for a good ten minutes, putting in wave after wave of attacks.
Sandown’s forwards were working overtime, with Vikoma man of the match Sam Rees and Luke Hunter particularly superb.
On one attack, Hunter broke down field and fed Joe Rees but he was stopped short of the line, and from that ruck KCS had a player sin-binned as they continued to infringe.
KCS continued to push, despite being a man down for a spell, and got their reward with a converted try.
Alleynians remain top owing to the fact they have played one less game than the Islanders.
Sandown: Eldridge, Allman, Harris, Hunter, J. Rees, S. Rees, Thomas, Bagnall, Dove, Buckingham, Gough, Chandler, Morey, Muir, Wales, Morris, Robinson, Marriott.
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.
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