Alton RFC 1st XV Win Away at Aldershot & Fleet
Definitive Win Avenges Early Season Defeat
Back in December Aldershot & Fleet had a very deserved result with their ever-competitive victory at Alton when they won 0-35.
Alton needed to avenge that defeat, and they set about it directly from the kick-off. Within 6 minutes they were in front when scrum-half George Pantrey
accepted the chance of a penalty in front of the posts, 0-3. Buoyed up by this Alton drove back at the home side dominating territory, on 17 minutes A&F defaulted and again Pantrey was successful with the penalty, 0-6.
For most of the second quarter, and for the first 20 minutes of the second half, Alton were encamped in their opponents’ 22 metre area, but some handling errors, mis-communication, and failure to take kicking chances when offered meant no increase in the score. However, it was mainly an amazing display of doughty defence by the hosts which kept them out.
The first score in this half came on 28 minutes after Aldershot & Fleet broke out and followed Alton’s example encamping on the goal line, eventually the defence was breached, and the home side’s unconverted try took the score to 5-6.
Earlier in the season Alton would have tried to protect this slender lead, usually with the wrong outcome. This time they went back at A&F and re-erected their camp in the home 22. Again Aldershot & Fleet defended their line immaculately, but Alton changed their tactics and accepted 2 penalty opportunities on 33 & 35 minutes, Pantrey converting both 5-12.
In the last 5 minutes of this fixture the situation of the match and the final score changed dramatically. Alton’s forwards collected the re-start from the second penalty, passed the ball back to Pantry who hoisted an immensely high kick which came down on the home 22 metre line behind the opposition, the 2 defenders trying to collect the awkward bouncing ball made a bit of a hash of it, allowing full-back Michael Robson
to burst through between them and touch down behind the posts. In the act of his successful conversion Pantrey pulled a muscle, Robson moving forward to cover; 5-19.
With just one minute to go the large Alton travelling support would have happily accepted the result but Robson had other ideas, taking a penalty quickly, he broke through the defence with sheer speed, again touching below the posts giving centre Oli Fielder
the easiest of conversions. The referee immediately blew for time. 5-26
and Karter Wittock, two of Alton’s Colts, made their 1st XV debuts in this match, they were extremely effective and blended well into the team.
An excellent committed performance by Alton, which regrettably did not lift them up the league table as the club above them, Fawley, at the beginning of the day had a bonus point win, this took them past Nomads who are now just 4 points in front of Alton.
Alton are next in action in the league on Saturday 17th March when they host Fawley in the match postponed from 7th March because of the snow conditions. To allow viewing of the England vs Ireland International kick-off will be in Anstey Park at 12:30 p.m.