It was a cold afternoon at Stoneham Lane for this enthralling league encounter between two teams who had played each other numerous times through the years and knew each other well.
Trojans led by skipper JC were soon into their stride pushing the normally dominant Winchester pack back into their half with strong rucking.The home team sadly lost JC early on with a shoulder injury after making one of his trademark drives but repalcement Charlie C took his mantle on and was always involved.The home team shuffled the pack and pushed on undeterred. A drive from midfield opened the play up and the determined Dan W went over; 5-0. Trojans were dominant and as much as Winchester tried to get into the Trojans half they struggled with David M and Mikey G dominant in defence.The occasional kick from Winchester saw the ball in the Trojans half but it was returned with Ben S,Joe J and Tom KO involved in most attacks. The Trojans set piece was effective not losing a scrum or a line out and putting Winchester under pressure at their own set piece.A move across the field led to the determined Tom N crossing the line in the corner, 12-0.The kick from the far touchline was converted by Tom KO in outstanding fashion.Trojans arrived at half time having dominated the first half but not realising a lead that recognised this.
Half Time 12-0
Winchester came back the stronger after the break with an early try taking the score to 12-5.The away team sensed this was their chance and for the next 10 minutes they were in the ascendancy with their no 14 causing problems for the home team.The Trojans backs were called into defensive action a number of times with Sam W and Harry C making vital tackles.
An injury to Tom KO saw Wesley C come on at no 10, Ollie C came on for Will O and the team changed shape again.Ollie C got close in the corner with some desperate Winchester defence keeping him out. Trojans came back forward making the hard yards through the midfield with some great carries by the centres and forwards. From a line out on the left hand side Trojans worked the ball across the field with Wesley C picking it up 25 yards out and powering across the line in the corner; 17-5 with 15 minutes to go. Perhaps the home team switched off at this stage but they let Winchester back in for a try bringing the score back to 17-12. Lawrence C came on for Trojans in the front row. The intensity from the away team was noticeable but Trojans held firm exiting well a number of times with the returning Charlie MC strong and determined in turning the ball over. As the skies darkened the game entered its final 5 minutes. With two minutes to go Winchester attacked but Trojans won the ball but the exit kick did not reach touch .Winchester counter attacked and found space. The ball was off loaded to their no 5 who managed to cross the line despite a last gasp tackle from Harry C.The scores were tied at 17-17 it was down to the conversion.Winchester converted and won the game with the last kick of the game, 17-19.
Full time 17-19
The home team now know how Wales felt the day before but congratulations should be given to a determined WInchester team who for the first time in five years had beaten Trojans twice.
Tom N was Trojans MOM.
Trojans Academy have now lost their last 4 league games by a combined total of 9 points and are learning the importance of fine margins and correct tactical decision making. Having narrowly lost by one point to runaway league leaders Alton in the last minute of the game having dominated it and losing in similar fashion to Winchester there are considerable positives to be taken by the team. The team is close to finding the edge required and will work on this over the coming weeks in training.The importance of the squad mentality has never been more apparent and will serve the team well in the weeks ahead.