Counties Two Hampshire rugby: Title-chasing New Milton tear apart Eastleigh II
Counties Two Hampshire
Eastleigh RFC II 0
New Milton RFC 112
Table-topping New Milton rubber-stamped their title credentials with a 17-try thrashing of Eastleigh – a match which ended midway through the second half when the score became too one-sided.
This gives them a seven-point lead with just three games remaining.
Milton travelled to play bottom-of-the-table Eastleigh seconds, but after previous lessons to beware lower-placed sides, they outclassed the home side with their fast running and passing game.
To their credit, Eastleigh competed well in the scrums and line-outs and were competitive in the rucks and mauls, making several turnovers.
They never gave up until the 60th minute when the captains and the referee agreed to call an end to the match.
The avalanche of tries began with Joe Eldridge, who scored three in the first half, while Dan Mallard, Ed Hynd, Chris Conacher, Connor Hammerstone, Ben Steers, Alex Everett-Jackson, Ben Wainwright and Sam Bew all added their names to the score sheet. Adam Lavis successfully converted nine of the 11 tries to bring the scores to 73-0 at the break.
Milton continued to pile up the points with more tries scored by Alex Everett-Jackson, Jude Payne, and player-of-the-match Hammerstone, who scored two in a row.
The rout recommenced with Josh Lines crossing the try-line and Lavis scoring and converting his try. With the four previous conversions sailing through the uprights, it took his points tally to 33, breaking his previous record.
While the try-scorers deserve plenty of plaudits, the unsung heroes who set them up included captain Christian Brown, Jack Corbett, James Blair, Hangil Chung and Freddie Hodges.
The win takes New Milton to 70 points, seven ahead of second-placed Bognor. During their impressive season, New Milton have won 14 of their 17 matches.
With just three games remaining, New Milton are away from home in their next match when they face local rivals Ellingham & Ringwood in a New Forest derby.
New Milton: H. Chung, F. Hodges, E. Hynd, B. Steers, J. Corbett, J. Payne-Owen, S. Bew, D. Mallard, A. Lavis, C. Brown, J. Eldridge, C. Coombs, A. Everett-Bolter, J. Lines, C. Conacher. Subs: J. Blair, B. Wainwright.