Alton RFC Win Again - This Side of the Solent
By Nigel Youell
Hampshire 1 League and Hampshire Plate 2nd Round Double Win - All in one great game!
For the second week running Alton 1st XV played a team from across the Solent. This match had a double purpose, firstly the scheduled Hampshire 1 fixture; secondly the result would also count as a 2nd round match in the Hampshire Plate Cup competition. This had been originally scheduled at Alton for 13th October but to minimise Isle of Wight’s (IoW) travel costs was brought forward.
Facing yet another Island team that appeared more experienced, and physically bigger, Alton’s team only contained 8 of the side that soundly defeated Ventnor last weekend.
Alton picked where they left last week with the first sign of things to come in the 1st minute when winger Kyle Bale got the ball close to his own posts and burst through the visiting defence to reach their 22-metre line, had he looked to his right 2 of his team mates were clear, unfortunately he went left! Within 3 minutes full-back Fran Williams followed Bale’s example and ran clear, but this time backed himself and opened the scoring.
Alton’s stand-off Ed Thomas and centre Joe Gwyther orchestrated their fellow backs who dominated the 1st half and with 22 minutes gone Jess Powell crossed for Alton’s 4th try and the bonus point, Harry Thomas and Ryan Bale scoring the other two. IoW opened their account during this period with a converted try.
Unfortunately, Joe Gwyther was having a bad day with his kicking boot and only converted one of the first 4 tries, but he made amends on 32 minutes when he intercepted an IoW pass and ran some 70 metres to take the score to 27 – 7.
Alton’s forwards, who had been creating the possession for their backs, decided to take matters into their own hands and following a great effort in a scrum #8 Tony Hopkin touched down 2 minutes before half time. HT 32 – 7
From the start of the second half the home players combined well with 2 further unconverted tries within 20 minutes through Ryan Capes and Leo Gardner, both forwards; which IoW answered with another converted try. FT 42-14
A very competent performance from a team that is showing good promise for the season.
Alton must now wait until mid-October to find out their opposition in the Semi-Final of the Plate but next Saturday they are away in Hampshire 1 to Trojans 2nd XV; the second XV are home to Chineham 2nd XV and the Masters are due to entertain Reading at Anstey Park; all 3 kick-offs are at 3:00 p.m.