Alton 1st XV win against Locksheath Pumas
By Steve Jenkins
A match dominated by by defence and the weather!
Compared with their previous results Alton only managed to score 1 converted try and a penalty in a match dominated by the defences of both sides. With the advantage of the wind in the first half Pumas dominated territory, spending plenty of time in the Alton twenty-two, but the home team’s defence stood firm. It was Alton that opened the scoring on 13 minutes when the backs moved the ball quickly right to winger Ryan Bale who then made a powerful twisting run, from some 30+ metres out, to score near the posts allowing George Pantrey a relatively easy conversion, although he was kicking into the teeth of the gale. On the half-hour Pantrey added a penalty when Locksheath were penalised for holding on. HT 10 - 0
Alton had the wind and rain behind them in the 2nd half but a massive defensive performance by the Pumas prevented them taking advantage of the conditions. Right at the end of their half, as the conditions moderated, Pumas got themselves into Alton’s half and just before the final whistle converted a penalty to earn themselves a well-deserved bonus point. FT 10 - 3
Last Saturday’s game marked the half-way point of the league. At the beginning of the season Alton’s current record would only have been a dream. Played 11; won 10; lost 1; and 10 bonus points. However Alton lie 2nd to Farnborough. Although the teams have massed the same number of league points, Alton’s points difference is, for 498, against 140, a difference of +353, whereas Farnborough have, for 476, against 120, difference +356. So just 3 scoring points separate the teams thanks to Farnborough’s 121 - 0 away victory against Andover II on the same day as this match.
Next Saturday, 15th December, Alton travel across the Solent to take on Isle of Wight for the last league game of 2018 and will be endeavouring to repeat the home result back in September.
Alton’s first home game after Christmas is on Saturday 5th January when they will welcome Trojans II to Anstey Park, kick-off is at 2 p.m. The following week they will face Locksheath Pumas again, this time away, the match counting as a double header for the league game and the semi-final of the Hampshire Plate.