Ventnor 32, Fawley 25
VENTNOR kept their home record intact with a hard fought battle against a physical Fawley side on Saturday.
The hosts did not get off to the best start, letting the visitors get an early try, after an error from Jake Babington allowed a Fawley winger to score in the corner. Babington soon made up for it and was causing chaos on his wing, making strong runs and key passes to create two tries, the first offloading to Todd Riches to level affairs, and then to Mark Turner, who scored a try converted by Damien Marriott.
Ventnor were driving forward with Riches and Turner making big gains and Andy Gilbert smashing holes in the defence.
Wightlink man of the match Tobias Penner and Lewis Jones were putting in strong tackles to keep the visitors at bay for a time, but eventually Fawley clawed their way back into it with their second try of the game.
Ventnor responded well and went into the break with a lead, as Jones touched down by running through a massive gap left by the Fawley defence, Marriott again converting.
The beginning of the second half saw Ventnor start strong with captain Danny Newberry taking a quick penalty, running through the visitors’ defence and crashing over the line to put Ventnor further ahead.
However, this was the last try Ventnor would score as Fawley began their comeback. They scored three unconverted tries, but two penalties by Marriott kept Ventnor a score ahead.
The game was sponsored by Alan Skeats, Ventnor Rotary Club, Mike Buttle and TF Property Solutions and the A. J. Wells Black Dog award was shared between Babington, Ryan Cooper, Nolan Winter and Scott Jesney.
Ventnor: Newberry, Jesney, Gilbert, D. Marriott, Harris, Babington, Jones, Cooper, Penner, Ricketts, T. Riches, Turner, A. Marriott, Engelgardt, Davies, Dobass, W. Riches
• Ventnor II were let down once again when their planned Merit Two opponents, Southampton II, failed to raise a side.
• More rugby reports in the Friday, December 6, County Press.