News from the 3rd XV

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Saturday, 14th November 2015

Stalwart leader, Danny Gillan took his undefeated, Fighting Falcons sponsored, Andover 3rd Team to Overton on a wet and windy Saturday. The knowledge that Overton were also unbeaten in their two league games and five friendlies meant the Andover Pack were aware this would be no metaphorical, walk in the park! However, with the desire to stretch their unbeaten run to five leagues games against local rivals strong in their hearts, Andover were determined to start strong. After driving the home side back well into their own half, Overton had no option but to concede an early penalty. Josh Gibbs confidently stepped up and slotted the three points.

Straight from Overton’s restart Andover pushed them back into the home team’s own 22 moving the ball confidently from right to left through both forwards and backs. Overton fought hard, with Andover having to rise to the challenge with a number of big tackles to hold the rampaging forwards scoring. A couple of ill-timed knock ons from the usually reliable, Wayne Jones, also prevented Andover turning the constant pressure into points.

With some epic tackles coming in from the Overton boys it wasn’t long before one took its toll. Morrow suffered a blow to the shoulder, paving the way for a spritely Dawkins to take the field and bolster the pack.

Against such onslaught it was only a matter of time before the Overton wall had to break, thanks to some powerful work from Inglis, Heggie, Fulforth, supported well by Baxter, Dawkins, Jones and Gillan. Jasmine worked hard to keep up with play, giving Andover the break they needed to get them within 15 metres of the line. Quick ball from young scrum half Fabian, meant Gilbert had time to draw the opponents centre before expertly delaying a pass to release Gibbs to power his way to the line. Gibbs converted his own try.

The first half continued in much the same way, Andover pushing hard and defending solidly, with excellent tackles from the new young centre Maloney.

With Overton giving a penalty away due to a high tackle the captain decided to finish the half with three further guaranteed points by asking Gibbs to step up and kick for the posts. It was never in doubt and the game was fast becoming ‘The Josh Gibbs Show’ bringing Andover’s half time score and his personal tally to 13-0.

With a couple of changes at half time and Gillan not realising he hadn’t subbed himself off Andover almost started the 2nd half with 14 men before the penny dropped, Andover were determined to obliterate their opponents. Overton, however, had other ideas and the game ping ponged between each teams 22 yard line with the forwards putting in some heroic last ditched tackles. Despite Jasmine doing his best to help, Heggie, Butcher and the others smashed the Overton boys back so their line remained unbroken.

With Graham suffering from cramp and Maloney coming back onto the field the inevitability of Andover scoring again hung expectant in the air. Quick thinking by Long almost saw him chase down a ball in the corner but for it to just roll into touch. Another loose ball popped out from Overton and new member James was on it like a ferret up a drain pipe and hacked on down pitch, his lightning pace out stripping the Overton defence, a couple more gentle touches and he dived over to claim his debut try. Gibbs stepped up and slotted the extra 2 points.

Two further penalties from Gibbs secured a 26-0 victory over local rivals Overton and Andover’s 5th win in 5 games.

Well played Andover and well played Danny Gillan!


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