Eastleigh Pirates v Fareham Heathens 8.10.17
By Darren Long
Another warm and dry day greeted us for our first visit to Eastleigh for a long time. They have always been a strong side and luckily had a few extra numbers to lend us so that we could make it a 15 a side game. Hopefully Connor and Ayden will be fit for our next match in a couple of Sunday's time.
As usual there was a score almost immediately from the kick off, unusually however it was Heathens who scored it. An absolutely fantastic run from Charlie from the half way line saw him run past several defenders and score under the posts. They just didn't have an answer for his pace and running lines. Will duly knocked over the conversion and it was 7-0 to Heathens. We didn't have to wait long for the second score and it seemed the whole team were buoyed by our strong start. Dom made a typically forceful run and with good support from Jacob, he passed the ball to Lloyd who made it over the line. The kick was much harder this time and was missed. Score was now 12-0 to Heathens.
We continued to dominate possession and Isaac made a great break and passed to Charlie who again scythed through their defence for his second and Heathen's third try. Will kicked the conversion and the score was now 19-0 in our favour in just over 10 minutes! Eastleigh did rally and for the next few minutes they scored a couple of tries. One from a 5m scrum and the other from a fortuitous kick that was hacked through and touched down over the line. All of a sudden the score was 19-12 and we were in danger of letting all the good work go to waste.
Some excellent forward play then followed. Dom made a good tackle that led to a knock on and from the scrum, Josh picked up and went on a run. The ball squirted out of the ruck and Will did a great pick up, followed by a hand off to score out wide. This was his hardest conversion and it fell short of the posts. We now had a bit of a cushion again at 24-12. We managed to get on the scoreboard again just before half time after a powerful run by Dom who went round or through about four defenders before going over for our fifth try. Will made the conversion so it was a healthy score at half time 31-12.
The second half wasn't as fluid but we did score first. Lloyd ripped the ball from an Eastleigh player and another good run from Charlie gave us a great position in their half. After some good pressure from Fin, Eastleigh knocked on and Will managed to get the ball to Josh who was away and under the posts. Another conversion made the score 38-12. Three successive penalties then brought Eastleigh into our 22. We fought back hard and some good forward play by Fin and Oscar allowed our backs to break free again. Another great run by Charlie, don't think I'll get bored saying that, ended in a nice offload to Will and another score under the posts. Will converted his own try to make the score 45-12. Eastleigh did get a late consolation try but Heathens had the last word. A penalty in front of the posts allowed us to complete our scoring and win 48-19.
It was a wonderful game of rugby where the forwards all worked hard and it gave the backs plenty of ball to do what they do best. All the forwards played well and Oscar and Fin in the second half really got in Eastleigh's faces, which led to several turnovers. Charlie was named man of the match by the opposition. This was well deserved but I'd also like to mention Lloyd, who did a great impression of a flanker by being everywhere in the second half and ripped the ball off the opposition at will. A great team effort, which resulted in very happy parents, coaches and players. We have a special group of guys and I hope we can strengthen the squad over the course of the season as it would be nice not to have to borrow players!