RUGBYFawley II 7, Ventnor II 10
ALL the omens for this match were not good — but Ventnor dug deep to produce one of the club’s best results of the season.
Ventnor travelled to Fawley with a bare 15, an injured replacement and the knowledge that Fawley’s first team had no game.
But in the end, it was a hard-fought win where every Ventnor player gave their all and got their just reward.
The Islanders made a good attacking start, with Harrison Marsh punching holes in the Fawley defence and when they were awarded a penalty, captain Warren Riches made no mistake.
Ventnor continues to press, with the half-back partnership of Fergus Kenny and Wightlink man of the match Jake Babington causing problems for the Fawley backs.
Babington made one of these breaks tell, when he weaved his way through the defence and as it parted he saw the gap to score under the posts, Riches converting.
Ventnor had a few more chances to score, but were thwarted by the Fawley defence and went in at half time 10-0 up.
In the second half, Fawley made several changes and Ventnor feared their ten-point advantage would not be enough.
However, great tackling from the likes of Tobias Penner, Matty Cripps and Ed Blake kept Fawley at bay, and even the sin-binning of A. J. Wells Black Dog award winner Nolan Winter did not affect the score.
Ventnor dominated in the scrums as the front row of Rob Jackson, Marsh and Ian Collins drove the Fawley pack back time and again.
Fawley did make a breakthrough when they grabbed a loose ball towards the end and broke away but Ventnor held on for a memorable victory.
Ventnor: Collins, Marsh, Jackson, S. Babington, Bradshaw, Winter, Penner, R. Engelgardt, Kenny, J. Babington, Bates, Wells, Blake, Cripps, Riches. Replacement: T. Engelgardt.