ELLINGHAM AND RINGWOOD produced a monumental performance in Hampshire 1, but didn’t have it all their own way against Locksheath Pumas in a 69-16 victory.
The game started at a fast pace, however, E&R mistakes proved costly and the Locksheath pack took advantage of penalties and drove over for the first score.
Ellingham responded well and immediately forced an error. After several strong forward carries, the backs were released with Dominic Pitt going over in the corner to level the score.
Despite Ellingham dominating most facets, mistakes again proved costly and gifted Locksheath two penalties which were both converted to open up a 5-11 advantage.
Ellingham increased the tempo and started to play more effectively. Dean Young had a half chance out wide, chipped the ball through and miraculously managed to chase his own kick and touch down millimetres away from the dead ball line, 10-11.
E&R scored a further two tries through fullback Dom Pitt with a strong solo effort and then wing Chris Frost finished well from a backs move in the corner. Young converted both to fire E&R into a 24-11 advantage after a whirlwind first half.
After the break, a mistake in midfield, a penalty and then a sin bin for scrum half Dave Jones for a high tackle led to Ellingham defending a 5-metre line out which the visitors capitalised on to reduce the deficit to 24-16.
Ellingham were awoken, and they quickly applied pressure. After good defensive work and quick line speed from the backs, Charlie Cockram took a trademark interception and scored under the posts. Young again converted.
Ellingham were restored to 15 players and also brought on three replacements to inject some more pace into the game. Ben Carey came onto the wing and immediately scored. After a messy lineout, fly half Henry Benson got to the ball before the defending player and popped it up to Carey who went on a mazy run from 30 metres out to dot down under the posts. Young again converted to make the score 38-16.
This wasn’t to be the end for replacement Carey who scored another two tries out wide to earn himself a hat-trick after just 12 minutes on the pitch. Young converted one from the touch line to increase the score to 50-16.
Ellingham were reduced to 14 men for the remainder of the half when replacement Andrew Lorton was deemed to have come off his feet in a ruck and was given a harsh yellow card.
This spurred Ellingham on even more and after strong forward play, the backs released Carey out wide who offloaded inside to number 8 Duncan Soden who stretched away to score. Young converted.
Minutes later, Soden was in again after Ellingham had forced a knock on. Luke Reynolds was quickest to react and after initially making a good break away, he fed the supporting Soden to race away under the posts for his second score. Chris Frost converted this score to make it 64-16.
With two minutes left Locksheath received a yellow card to reduce them to 14 players. After strong positional play, prop forward Josh Berry got his hands on the ball and after beating two players, showed enough pace to go over for the last score of the game. The final whistle blew with the score standing at 69-16 to Ellingham and Ringwood.