Old Wellingtonians 29, Sandown and Shanklin 16
SANDOWN’S hopes of survival in London South West 3 suffered a blow on Saturday when they lost to fellow strugglers Old Wellingtonians.
The stakes were high as victory would see the winners pull away from the relegation zone but neither team seemed particularly encumbered by the pressure of the game.
Sandown scored first, with Will Baxandall kicking a penalty but Wellingtonians responded almost immediately with an unconverted try.
Sandown continued to play well, with Wightlink man of the match Gavin Bodrell missing a long-range drop goal a couple of minutes before slotting one from similar range.
Wellingtonians again responded with an unconverted try but back came Sandown again, when Vikoma man of the match Ryan Carey took the ball through multiple tackles before being brought down illegally, with Baxandall narrowing the gap to a point.
Six minutes before the break, Wellingtonians had a player sin-binned but they held on through to the second half, and then once back to full strength, they really picked up the pace.
From lineout ball, they formed rolling maul after rolling maul. Two quick scores, one converted, sent them 15 points clear with the Hurricanes fast losing touch.
Sandown did not lose heart, and scored possibly their best try of the season, as Booth took a quick tap penalty and the ball passed through almost every player’s hands before finding Carey in space to run the ball in. Baxandall converted bringing the Hurries back within eight points.
Rejuvenated, Sandown threw everything at Wellingtonians including a 40-yard solo break from lock Luke Hunter, but the hosts held firm and then, from another rolling maul from a lineout, scored a converted try to make it 29-16.
Sandown find themselves in the relegation zone at present but with several games against those around them, still have sufficient opportunity to retain their place in the London leagues.
Sandown: Pacey, Kulik, Eldridge, Wolfenden, Hunter, Jones, Carey, Branston, Booth, Bodrell, Gough, Chandler, Baxandall, Robinson, Carey.
Sandown and Shanklin II 80, Basingstoke III 0
Newly promoted Basingstoke were the latest victims for Sandown’s second team.
The visitors travelled light and relied on Hurricanes loaning them a couple of players but further injuries in the second half made the game a rather one-sided affair.
Tries came from Greg Dean, four, Chris Perfect, two, Josh Wetherick, two, Michael Cooper, two, Dave Steele, Jon Miselbach, Michael Barrett and Sam Tyson.