Hampshire Premier and Vase: Fordingbridge RFC 32-26 Millbrook
FORDINGBRIDGE RFC squeezed past Millbrook 32-26 in league and cup double-header in a windy away game.
Traditionally this fixture has been a close encounter, even finishing in a 36-point draw last season. The result means Fordingbridge now face Basingstoke at home in the semi-final of the Hampshire Vase.
Fordingbridge scored first despite being under pressure from Millbrook in the first 15 minutes of the match.
Mat Norton battled through their defence to stretch out for the opening try – an early seven-point lead to the visitors.
Millbrook responded with a try of their own, but the conversion was missed. Norton extended Bridge’s lead with a penalty and as the half approached the score was 10-5.
In the final minute, Millbrook scored under the posts and went into the break 12-10 up.
The second half was similar to the first with tit-for-tat tries throughout the 40 minutes. Mark Hammond scored within three minutes for the visitors which Norton converted to take back the lead.
Millbrook responded in kind six minutes later, and as the half progressed, the lead swung back and forth.
Tries from Chris Gogin and Tim Beer for Fordingbridge, and one from Millbrook, saw the half approach its conclusion with Fordingbridge just three points ahead, and it was anybody’s game.
With two minutes to go, Fordingbridge sealed the win with a penalty to take the score to 32-26. Both sides achieved a four-try bonus point, with Millbrook a losing bonus point. This result keeps Fordingbridge in seventh place in the Hampshire Premier League with Millbrook just one place below.
Captain Mark Hammond was awarded the match-of-the-match and paid tribute to Peter Davies who played his first match for Fordingbridge and senior side.
Fordingbridge II hosted Farnham IV at the Rec but lost 48-15 with tries from Dale Mouland, Steve Jones and Ben Barnes for Fordingbridge.