Tommy Booth was an almost unstoppable force up front, and scored Sandown’s second try. Picture by Ashley Vaughan.
RUGBYSandown and Shanklin 50, Fordingbridge 5
HURRICANES stormed to an overwhelming win in the final of the Gales Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.
In front of the biggest crowd of the season at the Fairway, the London South West 3 side were far too strong for the Hampshire One promotion hopefuls, although they gave it everything they had.
In fact, Fordingbridge more than matched their opponents for a fair chunk of the game, before tiredness set in and their weaker pack was crushed by the Sandown offensive.
The hosts made early in-roads and took the lead with a Neil Buckingham penalty nine minutes in before a period of stalemate, where both sides made good attacking charges, but lacked the killer finish.
Particularly threatening for Sandown were the swift Andy Gough and the freight train-like Tommy Booth, though both were stopped short.
Eventually the pressure paid off though and Ben Allman found a gap in the Fordingbridge line to crash over, Buckingham converting.
Fordingbridge immediately answered with a try of their own but Sandown came back in numbers, as their heavy forwards crushed Fordingbridge’s lightweight pack. It seemed a penalty try was imminent, but Booth peeled off the driving pack and touched down.
The second half saw Sandown move through the gears, scoring an impressive 35 unanswered points.
Allman went over for his second converted try before a penalty put 20 points between the teams. Minutes later, in almost a copycat move down the left of the field, Sandown extended their lead, Dan Muir crashing over and Buckingham nailing the conversion.
Buckingham then kicked another penalty as Hurricanes began to run riot, playing some wonderful expansive rugby and crushing the Fordingbridge resolve.
Rubbing salt into the visitors’ wounds, the referee gave a penalty try late on, which was again converted before yellow cards were issued to Hurricanes’ prop Ricky Harris, and a Fordingbridge player, for an off-the-ball incident.
This did not stop the points from coming and another penalty from Buckingham, and a surprise try from the evergreen Dave Steele to finish, completed the rout.
Sandown and Shanklin: Harris, Allman, Skelley, Hunter, Rees, Booth, Thomas, Bagnall, Steele, Eldridge, Hayden, Wolfenden, Gough, Wales, Chandler, Muir, Dove, Robinson, Buckingham, Corby, Marriott, Wetherick.