Match Report Hampshire 1 1st December 2018
Winchester 2nd XV (5) vs. Alton RFC 1st XV (44)
Last Saturday Alton 1st XV returned to league action when they visited North Walls Park in Winchester to play the bottom side Winchester’s 2nd XV. Alton were very aware that, potentially, the home side could cause them problems, their unbeaten 1st XV head London SW 3, 2 leagues above Alton.
However, Alton played a careful, determined game, maybe without the flair they had showed previously at Romsey.
The result was virtually secured in the first half-an-hour with centre Brendan Sumner helping himself to a hat-trick of tries, first he ran onto a short ball on the blind side of a ruck 5 metres out, the second he finished a cross-field move by his fellow backs, and his third came from a move that had commenced from a lineout in Alton’s half, on their 10 metre line, and passed through a large number of hands.
Number 8 Tony Hopkin decided that it was his turn when the pack, who were dominant in the tight and lineout all afternoon, drove Winchester back over their own goal line. Stand-off Joe Gwyther converted and at half-time the score was 0-22.
Eight minutes into the second half Hopkin again capitalised when the pack drove the home side off its own ball.
10 minutes later full-back Fran Williams put a deft chip kick over the defence and Michael Robson raced over from 25 metres out.
Alton’s next try came a few minutes later when prop Nick Stoffel, who had been active all afternoon selected route 1 from a line-out to charge over taking a lot of the defence with him, Gwyther converted.
Immediately afterwards Winchester benefited from an interception to make their contribution to the score-board; 5-39.
Winger Ryan Bale finished off the afternoon when he completed a flowing move as the Alton backs broke out of defence, he has now scored at least once in every league match except one.
This Saturday, 8th December, Alton face Locksheath Pumas at Anstey Park, kick-off is at 2 p.m. Their visitors are currently lying 4th in the league and will not be an easy scalp.