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Hampshire Counties One rugby: Ellingham & Ringwood beat Eastleigh RFC

Hampshire Counties One
Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 24
Eastleigh RFC 8

ELLINGHAM & Ringwood welcomed Eastleigh to the Raymond Brown Memorial Ground, and they ran out convincing winners to preserve their unbeaten start to the year.

Before the match, there was a well-attended pre-match sponsors’ lunch, so there was a good crowd despite the game clashing with England’s first Six Nations fixture in Rome.

Eastleigh got off to a better start due to indiscipline from the home side and, after seven minutes, fullback Aaron Barnes kicked a penalty to take a three-point lead.

Stuart Pearce drives towards the Eastleigh line (Photo: Steven Benson)
Stuart Pearce drives towards the Eastleigh line (Photo: Steven Benson)

Three minutes later, Eastleigh were reduced to 14 men when one of their players committed a high tackle on Ellingham’s openside flanker Ted Johnson.

With the extra man, Ellingham started to apply the pressure. After 16 minutes, captain and scrum-half Sammy Veneroso, following some good work by his forwards, took off on one of his customary darting runs to score under the posts. Ellingham’s right-wing Chris Frost kicked the conversion to give them a 7-3 lead.

Ellingham’s Pat Fraser was the next player to feel the wrath of the referee, seeing yellow in the 23rd minute, followed by the same for an Eastleigh player. After the second of these, Frost slotted another penalty.

Frost had an exemplary half, and in the 33rd minute, he dived over for a well-worked try, successful with the conversion to add a further seven points.

Ellingham & Ringwood’s number eight, Lewis Nicholls, wins a line-out (Photo: Steven Benson)
Ellingham & Ringwood’s number eight, Lewis Nicholls, wins a line-out (Photo: Steven Benson)

Ellingham continued the pressure and, when camped on Eastleigh’s five-metre line pressing for their third try of the half, the referee adjudged the away team committed too many offences, awarding a penalty try to give Ellingham a 24-3 lead at half-time.

Eastleigh came out strongly in the second half and, in the 48th minute, scored a good try which proved to be the last points scored in the game, as Ellingham charged down Aaron Barnes’ conversion attempt.

Ellingham’s centre Chris Seaby and number eight Lewis Nicholls earned yellow cards towards the end of the game, but Ellingham’s defence held firm, securing a 24-8 victory and lifting the side to fifth in the league.

E&R are on the road to take on Havant seconds on Saturday at 3pm.

Ellingham & Ringwood: T. Sampson, P. Fraser, M. Treloar, J. Fisher, S. Pearce, C. Hancock, T. Johnson, L. Nicholls, S. Veneroso, T. Veneroso, J. Kelly, C. Seaby, B. Carey, C. Frost, C. Jeffes. Subs: H. Wescott, C. Hills, A. Lorton.

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