Local rivalry goes down to the wire in Hampshire Premier

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New Milton RFC won a ding-dong battle over Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 26-21 after a tense finale

Hampshire Premier: Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 21-26 New Milton RFC

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NEW MILTON managed to hang on 26-21 to record their first win of the season against their local rivals Ellingham & Ringwood in the Hampshire Premier division.

From the kick-off, New Milton were immediately into Ellingham’s half, and the visitors gained a penalty which they turned in a five-metre line-out. The forwards won their own ball and pushed for the line with Sam Bew breaking off to touch down.

Ellingham responded with a try of their own following a five-metre scrum. Milton were quickly back in the hosts’ 22 and gained a penalty which was converted by Ryan Morrell, but this was quickly countered with Ellingham converting a penalty.

The visitors continued to pressure the Ellingham 22 and gained a penalty which Adam Lavis converted to give the visitors a slender 11-8 half-time lead.

In the second period, Ellingham gained possession in the Milton 22 and their forwards pushed over for a converted try to take the lead.

From the kick-off, the visitors attacked through substitute full-back Jonny Ward. With his first touch of the ball, he made a break from halfway and eluded the Ellingham defence to touch down in the corner.

New Milton then forced a turnover when Adam Lavis just saved the ball from going into touch. The ball was passed out through backs and centre Morrell made a break from halfway, outpacing the defence to score a converted try.

However, just as the game seemed out of sight for the hosts, New Milton number seven Lewis Royley, who had impressed throughout the game, was booked for a dangerous tackle.

The visitors began to show their frustration and conceded several penalties which Ellingham capitalised on with some good placekicking.

New Milton were restored to 15 men in the final moments and the visitors kept their composure to win a penalty to end the game with a Morrell drop-kick.

New Milton: D. Smith, S. Troughton, L. Booker, J. Corbett, J. Halligan, B. Steers, L. Royley, S. Bew, A. Lavis, B. Gould, J. Lines, R. Morrell, T. Gould, N. Smith, C. Coombs, J. Ward, T. Wood, A. George.

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