Petersfield 3 XV Hold Out in 2nd Half to Win Against Alton 2nd XV
A great team performance from the Super Twos who improved steadily as the match went on
Alton’s Super Twos league match against Southampton 2nd XV was cancelled, fortunately Petersfield were able to step in a for a friendly match against their 3rd XV.
The game saw the return of talismanic captain Ryan ‘Spudman’ Bale after breaking his wrist in a early match and it was nice to be back playing on a full size pitch following the Chineham game.
Alton got off to a slow start and were three tries down after just ten minutes. However the Alton Super Twos rallied and started securing ball at the breakdown and getting field position.
From a lineout on the half-way, Jack Renehan pretended to not know the call, before leaping to catch the ball cleanly. Petersfield expecting quick ball to the scrum half didn't commit players to the ensuing maul which allowed Alton to drive up to the Petersfield 5m. After sucking in the Petersfield forwards, Ryan Bale broke off the back of the rolling maul, broke through several tackles to score. This game was far from over, now Alton realising the majority of their play would have to come from the forwards.
The George Pantrey's conversion was narrowly missed, bouncing back off the left upright.
With the forwards able to secure the ball and provide half backs and backs with quick ball saw some strong running lines from George Pantrey (10), Corin Leadbitter (9) and Ed Lowman (15) which led to more pressure on the Petersfield line but Alton was unable to convert.
Discipline got the better of Alton, although complaints of holding on, these went unheard by the referee and Alton had been warned, the referee decided Alton's Mark Hammett (6) should spend 10 minutes on the side line for hands in the ruck.
Half time saw the score at 19-5 to Petersfield.
In the second half, Alton's scrum dominance increased, Ryan Bale regularly winning strikes against the head and Alton’s 8 driving the larger Petersfield pack backwards.
When Alton won a penalty in Petersfield 22, they went for the scrum option. The ball cleanly won, another strong drive from the Alton Super Two pack saw Jon Crothers control the ball from the base of the scrum all the way to the Petersfield line for another Alton score, 19-12 the gap closing.
For a period of around 10 minutes each team looked close to scoring with the ball going up and down the pitch several times with well worked runs and mauls, only to be turned over and returned back up the pitch. But it was Petersfield's determination, and luck in the isolated breakdowns, that saw them rewarded with a try. Despite an earlier try saving tap tackle from Michael Robson (14) again Alton started to get sucked into the easy penalties which the referee was happy to give, along with another yellow card to Nick Stoffel (3), this took Petersfield to Alton's 5 who were unable to keep them out. Converted try Petersfield.
But Alton were not beaten and in the last 10 minutes Alton were able to work the ball back into Petersfield's half, the ball was passed out to the backs and Ed Lowman was able to exploit a gap behind the Petersfield defence, Ed put in a chip over the defence, out sprinted the Petersfield backline to touchdown in the corner.
Time was not on Alton's side, Final score Petersfield 3rd XV 26 - Alton Super Twos 17.
Both teams were complimented by the referee for the quality of play and the general discipline despite the two yellow cards, and the game was played in the spirit of a friendly. Another great team performance from the Super Twos who improved steadily as the match went on, setting them up nicely for the league fixture against the same Petersfield in 2 weeks time.
Petersfield 3rd XV v Alton Super Twos (League Leaders) 27th February 2018