RUGBYVentnor 15, Lytchett Minster 3
VENTNOR’S improvement over the last few months was finally proved on Saturday with an impressive all-round performance and victory at home to Lytchett Minster.
Wind played a huge part in this match, and even though the hosts lost the influential Todd Riches and Warren Riches to injury through the game, they held their nerve to take vital Hampshire One points.
Ventnor had the strong wind to their advantage in the first half, and as a result were camped in Lytchett’s half for almost all of the 40 minutes.
After sustained pressure, Ventnor finally got the breakthrough, when Cooper offloaded to Wayne Williams, and he charged down the right. Although he was stopped five metres from the line, Todd Riches picked up and charged over.
Almost straight after the kick off, Lytchett made their first foray into Ventnor’s half and made the most of an infringement to kick a penalty over the posts.
But Ventnor were not to be denied this time, and they responded immediately with good running play, and quick ball from Cooper and A.J. Wells Black Dog award winner Nigel Malkin, helped Ross Harris to go over in the left-hand corner. Cooper kicked the conversion to end the first half on a high.
There was almost a total reversal of possession and pressure in the second half as Lytchett now had wind behind them. They camped in Ventnor’s half, although they could not make the pressure count.
Ventnor made a couple of breaks, and it was from one of those that they earned a penalty kick, Cooper converting it to complete victory.
Defensively Ventnor stood firm through out, and despite losing Todd to a knee injury and Warren to a back injury, held firm. Substitute Tom Englegardt, who came on for Warren, earned the Wightlink man of the match prize.
Ventnor: Newbery, Ball, S. Willams, Morley, Ricketts, Morton, Magnursson, T. Riches, Malkin, Cooper, W. Williams, Harris, Marsh, Pemberton, W. Riches. Subs: Fresle, Jackson, Blake, Englegardt.