U13 - Report
U13 Hampshire Cup (3rd & 4th place play off)
We suspected the conditions were going to be wet and windy and this was confirmed on arrival with the first XV posts having been blown down. The wind and rain lasted the whole match, but the only flood was from the points on the scoreboard and not water
More pressure from Andover, but once again Winch caught Andover on the hop when a cross field clearance following a Winchester scrum on their 5 meter line was gathered by Henry Gibson who then outflanked the Andover defence to score under the posts 0-14.
The Winchester pack then started to take control in the set piece with the Andover scrum half having to cope with a retreating scrum and Zach Housden dominating both sets of lineout. Crunching tackles from Charles Newbold and Hamish Duncan ensured the direct running from Andover was halted abruptly on the gain line. The first half finished with Winchester building the pressure down the left and were rewarded with a try from Captain Zach Housden who fained the crash ball from a penalty in Andover’s 22 but ended up finding space out wide. Having to kick into the wind this was the only conversion of the day that Dunger missed making the half time score 0-19.
Andover kicked off with the wind to their advantage, but somebody forgot to tell Winchester. A quick pass to Henry Gibson from the restart saw him carve through the advancing Andover defence to score under the posts in the first 30 seconds 0-26. Once again a safe pair of hands at the restart enabled Winchester to go through the phases ending up with Gibson, once again, braking down the flank to score his third and final try of the day 0-33.
Winchester were in a determined mood as they once again built a long period of pressure close to the Andover 22 with the forwards working off the back of the ruck. Eventually Winchester were awarded a penalty but unfortunately the pass didn’t go to hands and the opportunity wasted.
Andover then started to work their way back into the match, but solid tackling by Christian Bottomley created the turn over and quick hands from the Winchester's back line moved the ball wide to Dunger who chipped through cleverly, to then gather and score under the posts 0-40. The pressure didn’t stop there as Winchester once again attacked down the left with Dunger leaving the Andover full back flat footed to score under the post for his third and final try of the day 0-47.
To Andover's credit they never gave up. Strong running from their powerful centres gave them good field position and a string of penalties resulted in them being able to crash over the line to secure a consolation try 7-47.
Winchester finished on a high note however when Dunger made good yards wide on the left only to switch the ball infield to Zach Housden on the charge. A subtle side step saw the powerful No8 evade the Andover defence to score his second try of the day and make the final score 7-54.
What a fantastic way to finish the season.