Ventnor’s Paul Berry is hauled down by two Stoneham players. In support, from left, are Adam Pratt, Ryan Cooper, Tobias Penner and Fergus Kenny. Picture by Laura Holme.
RUGBY Ventnor 39, Stoneham 0
IT MAY have taken 20 minutes to get going, but eventually Ventnor took complete control to earn the points at home to basement side Stoneham on Saturday.
Prior to this Hampshire Two match, the writing was on the wall for the visitors, who had a points difference of -683 in the division, and arrived short of players.
Ventnor lent them Warren Riches and Nigel Malkin to get the game played, and then ran their opponents ragged with a good all-round performance.
The hosts dominated possession throughout, but handling errors let them down in the opening exchanges. Eventually, after a good spell of pressure they took the lead, when James Morley crashed over. Fergus Kenny missed the conversion.
With some points on the board, Ventnor tried to build on their lead but could not get past a resilient Stoneham defence and were dealt a blow just seconds from the break when Scott Jesney was yellow carded during a Ventnor attack.
Despite having a man down for the opening ten minutes of the second half, Ventnor began brightly, with Tom Englegardt crashing over only to have his score ruled out for being in touch.
Undeterred they continued their assault, and made it 12-0 when Todd Riches broke and set up Paul Berry to go in under the posts for a converted try.
Morley touched down for his second try shortly after, but Kenny’s conversion attempt hit the post, before Gavin Davis produced a lovely solo run for a converted try to make it 24-0.
Time was pressing on and Stoneham were getting more weary, while Ventnor went in for the kill. The final ten minutes saw Ventnor score three more tries. Firstly, Englegardt flew onto a pass for a brilliant try, before Ed Blake broke away and sprinted clear for a well-earned score. With almost the final play of the game, Nathan Ricketts scored from a tap-and-go penalty.
Tobias Penner was the Wightlink man of the match, with Adam Pratt winning the A.J. Wells Black Dog award. The match was sponsored by Island Wine Company, Westridge Bonchurch Garage and SR Hall Building Contractors.
Ventnor: Pratt, Jesney, Newbery, Ricketts, Morley, Jones, Penner, Riches, Cooper, Kenny, Blake, Dobbas, Berry, Bolton, Harris, Davis, Winter, Englegardt.
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.