Ventnor 11, Fareham Heathens 12
AFTER a long break thanks to Christmas and the bad weather, Ventnor finally played their first game of 2014 against the Hampshire Two leaders Fareham Heathens — and almost caused an upset.
They made a great start when Damien Marriott kicked a penalty to give them a small early lead but Fareham came back strongly and, using an overlap, scored a converted try in the corner to take the lead.
This gave Ventnor a wake-up call and with excellent work from the forwards, they managed to drive and carry the ball almost the full length of the pitch to then allow Lewis Jones to crash over the line, making it 8-7 to the hosts at the break.
In the second half, Fareham came out strongly, attacking for long periods but Ventnor’s defence was holding strong and not letting them through with excellent tackles by everyone.
Marriott managed to convert another penalty kick to keep Ventnor in the lead but, with so much pressure Fareham eventually managed to score another try in the dying minutes of the game.
Ventnor were still in the lead at this point — if they visitors were unable to covert. Fareham’s first attempt didn’t make it yet but the referee allowed them to retake it, and this time they made no mistake.
Wightlink man of the match was Scott Jesney, with Nolan Winter winning the A.J. Wells black dog award.
The match was sponsored by IW Owl and Falconry Centre, Mark Rogers, Smugglers Haven Tea Rooms, Paddingtons, Island Wine Co, The Leconfield and Sarah’s House.com. The club thanked all the volunteers who forked the pitch ahead of the game to make it playable.
Ventnor: Newberry, Gilbert, Jesney, Jones, Pickard, Morley, Penner, Gregory, Riches, Winter, Jacobus, Cooper, Marriott, Dobass, Davis, Babington, Blake, Harris, Winter