Hampshire Counties One rugby: Ellingham & Ringwood RFC come fromn behind to draw with Gosport & Fareham
Hampshire Counties One
Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 36
Gosport & Fareham RFC 36
ELLINGHAM & Ringwood got off to a poor start against Gosport & Fareham, but the stubborn hosts came from behind to secure a 36-36 draw at the Raymond Brown Memorial Ground.
The visitors dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, resulting in Gosport taking an early 10-point lead with second-row Jonny Stoppard touching down twice for two unconverted tries.
Ellingham spurred into action and, after some good build-up play from their forwards, the ball was spun out wide, initially by their captain and scrum-half Sammy Veneroso. It eventually got to their wing-three-quarter Jack Kelly, who dived over for a well-earned try. His fellow winger, Chris Frost, kicked the conversion to reduce the deficit to three points.
Shortly afterwards, Ellingham repeated the trick, with Kelly scoring his second try of the game and Frost’s trusty right boot kicking the conversion to give Ellingham the lead for the first time.
Soon after, Ellingham decided to play the ball out from deep, and they gave away an intercepted try which Tim Snowden, the visitors’ hooker, took and dived over under the posts.
Ellingham fought back, and the man-of-the-match flanker Ted Johnson barged his way over the line after sustained pressure from the Ellingham forwards, with Frost converting to regain the lead.
As the first half was coming to a close, Ellingham scored the try of the half when their centre, Chris Seaby, darted over the line to increase their lead. However, this time, Frost could not kick the conversion with the ball sailing just past the upright, which was to prove crucial.
Ellingham led 26-17 at the break, and coach Alan Steel had to make a change at half-time with injured prop Tom Sampson replaced by Corben Hills.
The visitors got off to a good start in the second period, with centre Dominic Holling scoring the first of his two second-half tries.
Gosport then got their second intercepted try of the game, with Holling grabbing another, which he converted.
Ellingham regained their composure, and hooker Pat Fraser soon muscled his way over to get Ellingham’s fifth try.
Ellingham extended their lead when centre Seaby got his second try of the game with another well-worked move.
The visitors stepped up, and their lock forward Brad Thomas, back at the club he left in the summer, scored a try from close quarters despite some strong defence work by the home team, and Holling was able to kick the conversion.
The game was fiercely contested, and visiting number eight, Simon Trivett, scored the last try, which Holling converted to level the scores.
Ellingham strove hard to clinch victory in the dying minutes, putting the visitors’ defence under immense pressure, but Gosport & Fareham’s line held firm.
Ellingham & Ringwood return to league action when travelling to face Trojans on Saturday at 3pm.
Ellingham & Ringwood: A. Payne, P. Fraser, T. Sampson, M. Treloar, T. Grant, C. Hancock, T. Johnson, L. Nicholls, S. Veneroso, H. Wescott, J. Kelly, C. Seaby, B. Carey, C. Frost, C. Jeffes. Subs: A. Day, C. Hills, B. Evans.