The 2nd's Win in Style to set up League Title Decider
By SSRFC Webmaster
Tottonians RFC Vets 0 - 87 Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV
The penultimate fixture of the season saw Sandown & Shanklin 2nd XV romp to victory and secure promotion to Hampshire 3 for the 2019/20 season, with a game to spare, which could decide who wins the Hampshire 4 division title, on the final day.
The match started well for the travelling team with an easy but well-earned try from the kick-off. A deep kick from Mitchell Farrant set up a good defensive line by the Hurricanes who managed to pin the home side down in their territory. After managing to turn over possession at the breakdown, by veteran Jon Miselbach, who was excellent in the loose all day, the away side moved the ball, and it made it's way to Greg Dean who trundled in from the 22 with numerous handoffs to would-be tacklers, 0 - 7.
Three further tries followed in quick succession. Winger Sam Buckingham showing great speed and strength to glide past the last defender on the outside for two scores, helped put the Hurricanes in a commanding position, 0 - 21. The scoring remained constant throughout the game and with no real let up the Hurricanes constantly piled on the pressure. This included at scrum time where they had the Tottonians scrum backpedalling and this allowed Dean to pick up from the base of the scrum and barrel his way through for his second score, 0 - 28.
With the visitors in the ascendancy further tries followed, this time with 2nd XV captain, Liam Little on the end of a well-worked team try. The extras again added, 0 - 35. With every player running great lines off the 9 and 10 it seemed inevitable to score off every attack for the travelling team. Next to score was young, Connor King cutting an incisive line off standoff Jack Sothcott, to slice through the defence and then using his power to bounce off the fullback, 0 - 42. The forwards dominating the carries were creating holes in the defensive lines, with the like of Henry Bagnall, Martin Richomme and Zac Davis carrying well upfront, and creating quick ball for the team. Then the away side began to show their flair, an out-the-back offload from Captain Little to Sothcott set up him to sprint home for a try of his own, 0 - 49.
Half time was called and without wanting to waste a minute the Hurries were set to receive the kick. Two further tries followed for Dean, the third midway through the second half when he ran through four players to score. Then his fourth moments later with another out wide, 0 - 59. A special mention to Mitch Farrant’s kicking, which was incredible all game, as he kicked 11 of the 13 goals, with some very challenging kicks from the touchline. Perennial try scorers Dan Sayers and Rob Newton Jnr then got in on the act, with Sayers providing momentum for a lot of the earlier tries, he found a hole in the defensive line and sprinted clear, 0 - 66. Newton Jnr then got two for himself, both quite similar, dissecting the defence in half and then dummying to dot down over the try line, 0 - 80.
Man of the Match, Jack Winter, who carried well all day and put in a massive shift in defence, got the ball moving for Sandown's final try. Hurricanes fullback, Charles Little, joined the attacking line, creating an overlap and using it to find Sam Buckingham, who brushed past his opponents and was almost stopped on the line. However, he managed to step over the whitewash to dot down, 0 - 87.
The Hurricanes showed great skill and poise in attack but the defence effort needs recognition too stopping a spirited Tottonians team. Incredible work all around the field from everyone. The last game of the season is the showdown for the title against Eastleigh RFC 3rd team, away on Saturday 13th April.