Tom Blackwell is tackled by an Eastleigh player. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
RUGBYRyde 28, Eastleigh II 34
RYDE’S unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday in the warm sunshine at Pell Lane.
With shirts on inside-out after Eastleigh brought a kit which looked to similar to Ryde’s, the home club were looking to keep their winning run going against the top side in Merit Two.
But in a hard-hitting but scrappy game, they were unable to contain the mainlanders in the second half.
The opening exchanges were tight, but scoreless, until the 20th minute when Eastleigh opened their tally with a virtuoso try, as their winger sprinted all the way from the IW’s five-metre line after a line-out.
Ryde’s response was swift, however, as prop Daniel Hodgson burst through to score under the posts, Vince Kennedy converting.
Soon after, Eastleigh restored their lead with a clean penalty kick, but almost straight from the restart, Ryde went back in front, as David True gathered an attempted clearance kick for an easy run-in. Kennedy converted.
However, that was the last of Ryde’s scoring for some time, as Eastleigh kicked another penalty before the break, and then they scored two unanswered converted tries after.
Matters were made worse for Ryde when Danny Vyse was sin-binned, and then they had a try denied when the referee judged it had been held up, despite the protests of Martin Kirwood-Slack and Adam Moody who said they put the ball down together.
Minutes later, they had the try they wanted, when Hodgson touched down for his second converted try. And five minutes from the end, they scored again, when Hodgson produced another scintillating run before offloading to Rob Knight to touch down. Another conversion from Kennedy meant one more converted try would tie the game.
But time ran out, and Ryde were left to rue the try that never was.
Ryde: Hodgson, Moody, Anthony, Wilks, Roberts, Knight, Fraser-Woodbridge, Edwards, Waldrom, True, Vyse, Kennedy, Cox, Blackwell, Kirwood-Slack, Power.