Rugby – Papa John's Cup: Ellingham & Ringwood blow away East Dorset Dockers
Papa John's Cup first round
Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 49
East Dorset Dockers RFC 0
FRESH from picking up the Counties Three Hampshire league title, Ellingham & Ringwood destroyed East Dorset Dockers to move into the next round of the Papa John's Cup.
Far from resting on their laurels after their recent success, the hosts were ruthless while shutting out the Dockers at the Raymond Brown Memorial Ground.
Ellingham's volunteer groundsman Nick Wilson, his colleague Tony Farmer and other volunteers deserve plaudits for their hard work to make the pitch playable after the 24-hour deluge the day before.
Ellingham started brightly, dominating the scrums, pushing the visitors deep into their half. Before long, the pressure from the forwards paid off when second-row Tyler Grant, returning from injury, dived over for the first try of the game, with outside centre Chris Frost kicking the conversion.
The Dockers fought back, and some ill-discipline helped their cause, allowing them to apply pressure to Ellingham's try line, but the home team's defence stood firm, as it would do all game.
Ellingham showed their ruthless streak, going up the other end, with number eight Andrew Lorton squeezing the ball over the line after some good work from the forwards.
With the break approaching, a yellow card issued after some backchat to the referee reduced the Dockers to 14 players. Frost then rubbed salt in the wounds when the latter slotted the resulting penalty at the skipper's request for a 15-0 lead.
At the break, Kieran Spencer, standing in for head coach Alan Steel, asked his team to maintain their first-half performance, and they duly obliged.
Ellingham's second-half started with prop Adam Payne barging over for a brace of tries in front of the large home crowd.
Then scrum-half Sammy Veneroso set off on a darting run and scored Ellingham's fifth of the game.
The typically reliable Frost failed to kick those conversions which were, in fairness, challenging.
However Frost grabbed a try underneath the posts following some excellent build-up play from his fellow centre Danny Patrice, who made a decisive run from deep before offloading to give the try-scorer an easy run to the line. On this occasion, he slotted the two points through the posts.
The next try came from flanker Ted Johnson, who scored in the corner following unselfish work from his fellow flanker Jacob Morrish.
The game's final try came courtesy of Patrice, who again ran from deep and was too powerful for the Dockers defence. He slid over the line to score and, with Frost off the field, scrum-half Veneroso kicked the conversion to make the final score 49-0.
Notable performances came from flanker Morrish, who made countless tackles, and inside centre Patrice, who had been out for a few weeks and returned to a challenging game with a brilliant display.
Ellingham will find out their opposition in the next round of the cup on 15th April.