Alton RFC 1st XV (17) v Romsey RFC 1st XV (43)
By Nigel Youell
Alton Lose Out on Bonus Point Try in Dying Seconds
With several changes in personnel from the previous 2 league matches it was always going to be difficult, at first, for the players to become a cohesive unit. Romsey soon realised this and capitalised on some poor clearance kicking, and weak defensive tackling, using their well-drilled and speedy backs they were soon 3 unconverted tries to the good. Alton were trying to play a progressive handling game and a move which saw at least 2/3rds of the team handle the ball eventually freed second row Chris Gregory
who went over in the corner, 5 – 15.
Romsey reverted to using their back line with increasing success and half-time was reached with the score at 5 - 40
In the second half however, Alton were the more dominant, and it was a credit to the visitors’ defence that it took 20 minutes for the score to change when Alex George
touched down following an excellent forward drive after a line out, Alton were the stronger in this discipline all afternoon. Alton realised that although the result was probably out of reach there was still a try bonus point on offer and they went for it. They put the pressure on Romsey’s line and were rewarded with a Penalty Try with 10 minutes to go when a high tackle on Alex George
prevented a score. Penalty tries now have automatic conversion making the award worth 7 points. Seeking the extra point Alton again put in a great effort which could have been rewarded when on the stroke of full-time Ryan Bale
was just prevented from scoring the bonus point try in the dying seconds.
Alton’s 2nd XV game at home to Basingstoke Griffons was postponed, a replacement merit table fixture was arranged with Winchester, but as with the original game, the opposition withdrew for lack of numbers.
Alton’s 1st & 2nd XVs do not have a fixture next Saturday, 11th November, but the Masters will be playing local Rivals Farnham Vets kick-off 12 noon in Anstey Park to allow the players to watch the England vs. Argentina game afterwards.
On Saturday 18th November Alton’s 1st XV travel to Seaford, East Sussex for their 2nd round London & SE Junior Vase clash.