Hampshire Counties One rugby: Crucial kicks help New Milton seal victory over Bournemouth
Hampshire Counties One
Bournemouth RFC II 22
New Milton RFC 29
NEW Milton won the first half against Bournemouth seconds, but after a slow start following the restart, they had to show tremendous courage to fight back and win.
When the final whistle came, both sides had scored four tries, but the boots of Connor Hammerstone and Christian Brown made the difference, sealing a bonus point victory.
The visitors were quickly into their running-and-passing game, making some good attacking moves.
They moved the ball from a lineout in the Bournemouth 22 to Cristian Brown, who glided past the defence to score the opening try, which Hammerstone converted.
The Milton defence contained the Bournemouth attacks, but the game was a stop-start affair with penalties and injuries taking time.
Eventually, Bournemouth won a penalty, which gave them a lineout on New Milton’s five-metre line, and the forwards broke through the defence to touch down.
New Milton responded well, also kicking a penalty into touch to win a lineout on the five-metre line. The forwards worked the ball well, and Ben Steers broke away from the ruck to score, with Hammerstone kicking the extras for a 14-5 lead.
After the break, Bournemouth quickly took advantage of two penalty awards, creating pressure in the Milton 22 and going over for a try before repeating the trick for another, giving them the lead.
New Milton made changes, with former Colts players George Warne and Will Pearson taking positions in the forwards and backs, joining former Colts Rylan Pearce and Ben Sheldon, who made their first-team debuts last week.
Hammerstone added three points with a successful penalty before Milton gained a scrum in the Bournemouth 22. The backs passed the ball to the wing, where Brown was waiting. He kicked over the defence before winning the chase for a superb try. Crucially, Hammerstone slotted the conversion.
In a near-carbon copy of the earlier try, New Milton won another scrum in the hosts’ 22 before spinning the ball out to Brown. Instead of kicking over this time, he delivered a perfectly executed grubber kick before charging through and touching down.
Bournemouth never gave up down the home straight and scored a late try, and with the successful conversion, earned two league points with a final score of 29-22.
New Milton play host this Saturday when they welcome local rivals Ellingham & Ringwood at 3pm.
New Milton: S. Bew, L. Booker, R. Pearce, J. Corbett, J. Blair, J. Lines, B. Steers, D. Jackson, D. Thomas, C. Brown, J. Eldridge, C. Hammerstone, J. Payne, T. Gould, A. Bolter-Jackson, G. Warne, B. Sheldon, W. Pearson.