Hampshire Premier: Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 22-19 Millbrook
ELLINGHAM & Ringwood firsts secured a narrow 22-19 win in the Hampshire Premier after holding strong against a late Millbrook surge.
The home side kicked off into the wind and pressured Millbrook with good line speed. As the visitors tried to attack out of their half, centre Charlie Cockram intercepted a pass and sprinted for the posts.
Millbrook’s fullback managed to catch and haul Cockram down, but good support and a neat offload gave Louis Harling a simple run in under the posts. Matt Raybould added the conversion.
The flying start did not last as Millbrook skipped through a couple of soft tackles and scored under Ellingham’s posts. The Southampton side started to find their rhythm and concentrated on kicking to the corner and using their big pack.
A few minutes after their first try, Millbrook added another from a driving maul, but Ellingham took stock and adapted well.
The home side started to move the ball wide and used their superior fitness to sap the legs of Millbrook’s pack. A strong run from deep by Chris Frost stretched Millbrook across the pitch.
Jack White was on hand to step through the drift defence and drive for the line. The visitors nearly stopped the converted try, but Jack flipped over and placed the ball down over his head.
Ellingham soon scored again as the game started to open up. Quick ball allowed Cockram to put Louis Harling through a big hole. The centre was too fast for Millbrook’s defence, and he touched down for his second try. Ellingham went into the half-time break 19-14 up.
Millbrook responded well in the second half and seemed comfortable playing into the wind. Ellingham’s penalty count hurt the home side and allowed the visitors to level the match from another catch-and-drive.
Ellingham started to use the wind in the tight game and played deep in Millbrook’s half until, eventually, the home side won a penalty within range as Will Maw stole the ball. Raybould kicked the penalty and steadied the ship.
Ellingham had an opportunity to extend their lead soon after as Garret Avis chased a kick and won a penalty with another turnover but Raybould’s ever-reliable boot was off the mark on this occasion.
Millbrook then threw everything at Ellingham in the final 10 minutes, but the home side’s defence resolutely refused to yield which sealed a narrow victory for the hosts.
Ellingham & Ringwood host Eastleigh tomorrow in the Hampshire Premier division.