News from the 3rd XV
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Friday, 29th September 2017
Danny Gillan's 3rd XV travelled to Millbrook RFC for the opening game of an important season ahead. With only 13 players in toe, Millbrook took full advantage of the spare men on the field by picking the gaps to run 3 tries home in quick succession. Andover finally woke up and the pack started to run 2/3 phases then release the backs into open play. With a better end to the half, it was still 33-0 to the home side at the break.
In the absence of their inspirational Manager, Andover started the second half with a real purpose, with turnovers coming from Jason Corney, Paul Gilbert, James Hardiman and Danny Gillan, Andover started piling the pressure which resulted in Jack Buckley, finishing of an fantastic backs move. From the restart, Millbrook were again feeling the pressure with Jason Corney, Danny Gillan, Matty Doyle and Tom Fulthorpe (Man of the Match) putting in some big hits in to keep the home pinned in their own half. With Millbrook now struggling from the Andover onslaught that continued with Will Janes, Hywel Ingls and Callum Steele hitting some hard lines which resulted in Matty Doyle scoring his first Andover try.
The visiting pack were now running riot and with the backs showing their magic, the Andover 13 were really showing character, worth and "never say die" spirit. Next up in the spotlight, was Paul Gilbert, who run at the Millbrook defence! They simply had no answer to the magical 10 as he weaved in and out of the home side making is seem like a fun training session. At the 5 metres line Millbrook finally managed to stop the fly half whose quick offload saw Danny Gillan going over the line for Andover's 3rd try of the game. Just minutes later saw Paul Gilbert, after another darting run, found himself held up over the line! But the resulting scrum from the All Blacks lead to the backs new boy, James Hardiman, hit a fantastic line at speed to cut open the home sides defence for try no 4. Millbrook finally woke up in the last quarter of the game with their centre running some good lines and a couple of try's to put the game out of reach for the traveling side, but again, with a minute remaining, it was Andover's Captain(Jason Corney), who had the last say as another fantastic lineout lead to a driving maul for the skipper to claim try no5 for the All Blacks.
The spirit shows by a side with only 13 players was an inspiration to the sport and the passion for the game. With some great kicking, flanking and fullback from veteran Mike Graham, 4 assists and great composure from fellow veteran scrum half Gordon Mitchell and the ever present Winger Charlie Ward, Andover finished the game with a respectful 51-29 loss.