Hampshire Premier: New Milton RFC 26-15 Millbrook
THE weather was unable to deter New Milton RFC from taking victory over close rivals Millbrook in the wind and driving rain.
The hosts started well, but weather affected the handling of both teams. Millbrook seemed to cope with the conditions better, and it was only New Milton’s defensive line in the second half that enabled them to outscore the visitors 26-15.
New Milton, playing against the strong wind, showed how to cope with the conditions and from winning a line-out in their half, they went through the phases working their way into the Millbrook 22-metre line. Then a short kick ahead by the plucky John O’Reagan was followed up by Ryan Morrell who slid over to touch down.
The try was quickly followed up by a New Milton kick ahead which bounced away from chasing Morrell and the Millbrook defender, leaving the eager Andy George to calmly pick up the ball and score a try. Morrell added the extras.
Millbrook responded with their powerful forwards who controlled the scrum. Following some pressure on the New Milton line, they were able to score a converted try to make it 12-7 at half-time.
Due to a yellow card late in the first half, New Milton were down one forward, and Millbrook took full advantage by creating pressure in the hosts’ 22-metre line and from a five-metre scrum they pushed over for a try. Millbrook took the lead shortly after through a converted penalty.
The game then took on regular phases with New Milton using the wind to help them clear the attacks on their line. The Millbrook players coped with the wet ball and kept bringing it back, which required more tackling and defence from the alert hosts.
A long Milton kick ahead was followed up well by Tom Wood and having tackled the Millbrook defender, a penalty was awarded. After some hesitation, Wood took it quickly and dived for the line. He fell short, but the visitors were penalised for a penalty try and New Milton took the lead once again.
Millbrook worked even harder to get back into the game, but the rigorous New Milton line held strong, and a big kick forward forced a penalty close to the Millbrook line.
With the visiting players questioning the referee, a quick penalty was taken, and Sam Bew glided over to score a league bonus-point try which was converted by Adam Lavis with the final kick of the match to make it 26-15.
New Milton: D. Smith, L. Booker, E. Hynd, J. Corbett, B. Steers, J. Payne, A. George, T. Wood, J. O’Regan, A. Lavis, J. Lines, N. Smith, D. Thomas, C. Conacher, R. Morrell, D. Oliver, L. Thomas, S. Bew.