Damien Marriott goes on the charge. Picture by Ashley Vaughan.
RUGBY Ventnor 23, Nomads 0
VENTNOR kicked off life in Hampshire Two in some style on Saturday, overwhelming a Nomads’ side lacking in physical fitness but packing a physical punch.
The Islanders worked hard to break down the Nomads, who in turn became frustrated and took full advantage of the match referee’s relaxed approach.
Ventnor’s reward was a clean sheet and some quality tries by back-line stars Jake Babington and Tim MacAdam.
They opened the scoring in the fifth minute, when a searing run and pass from Todd Riches set up Babington to touch down in the left corner, the conversion missed.
Ventnor had the upper hand and were dangerous on the counter attack, and Shaun Williams crashed over, only to be denied the try because of a double movement. They made amends with a second try, scored and converted by MacAdam, before Damien Marriott stormed through to crash under the posts, only for the referee to disallow it because he was impinging on Nomads’ defence.
Ventnor continued to pile on the pressure and were celebrating again just before the break, when Babington sped down the left once more to score, making it 17-0 at the break.
Things almost boiled over on the break, when the attacking Sam Lines was charged off the field after the whistle by a Nomads’ player, who went unpunished while Lines lay winded and sore.
Tempers almost flared at moments throughout the second half, as Nomads became increasingly frustrated by Ventnor’s superiority and hunger for the ball. Nomads never threatened the Ventnor line, and the hosts extended their lead with two penalty kicks, both kicked by Marriott.
The A. J. Wells Black Dog award was won by Ross Harris.
Before the game, both teams observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of Ventnor’s late patron, Welsh rugby star Cliff Morgan.
Ventnor: Newberry, Williams, Gilbert, Ricketts, Morley, Pemberton, Penner, Riches, Kenny, Marriott, Fradgley, MacAdam, Lines, Babington, Harris. Subs: Lush, Jesney.