Hampshire Counties One rugby: Ellingham & Ringwood take the derby spoils with victory over New Milton
Hampshire Counties One
New Milton RFC 21
Ellingham & Ringwood RFC 27
ELLINGHAM & Ringwood emerged victorious away from home at Norman’s Way in the first clash with New Milton since the two sides gained promotion.
Ellingham stepped up a division as champions, but both sides have made strong starts to life in Hampshire Counties One, and this clash lived up to expectations.
New Milton started the stronger, and they scored a well-worked try in the corner that went unconverted.
Ellingham came back well and were pushing for a try of their own when their fly-half Sam Venerosso made a long pass to his wing three-quarter, but New Milton centre Will Pearson intercepted before running the length of the pitch to extend the lead.
After another period of pressure, Ellingham won a penalty in midfield, and Venerosso kicked to get them on the scoreboard.
However, New Milton quickly responded, slotting a penalty of their own through the uprights.
Just before half-time, Ellingham’s outside centre Ben Carey finished a good move with a well-taken try that Venerosso converted for a 13-10 score at the break.
The second half was as competitive as the first, and it was not long before Venerosso kicked another penalty to level the scores.
Then, after a sustained period of pressure on the New Milton try line, Ellingham’s number eight Stuart Pearce crashed over in the corner for their second try.
Venerosso then kicked two further penalty goals to extend Ellingham’s lead before New Milton closed the gap with their third try of the afternoon.
Ellingham centre Archie Cockayne then kicked an excellent drop goal to extend their lead to nine points before a late penalty for New Milton narrowed the final score to 27-21.
The late points earned New Milton a losing bonus point, but Ellingham & Ringwood will enjoy the local bragging rights until the return fixture in Ringwood in the first week of January 2024.
Ellingham & Ringwood host Bognor in their next match, while New Milton take on Petersfield away from home. Both games are on Saturday at 3pm.
Ellingham & Ringwood: A. Payne, P. Fraser, J. Berry, D. Soden, M. Treloar, L. Nicholls, T. Johnson, S. Pearce, Joshua Milne-Riggs, Samuel Veneroso, Jack Kelly, Archer Cockayne, Ben Carey, Bradley Evans, Daniel Parker. Subs: C. Hills, H. Benson, N. Dakuwaqa.
New Milton: J. Poole, L. Booker, E. Hynd, J. Corbett, O. Woodhouse, S. Bew, B. Russell, D. Mallard, C. Wood, C. Brown, J. Eldridge, C. Coombs, J. Payne-Owen, T. Gould, D. Thomas. Subs: J. Lines, G. Short, W. Pearson.