ANDOVER RFC

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Sunday, 5th February 2017

Andover Colts 10 – New Milton Colts 10

The two unbeaten sides in league two couldn't be separated and shared the spoils in a tight and tense game.  The visitors travel back to the south coast relieved to have got out of jail while the home side wonder what might have been. Basepoint Business Centre sponsored Andover were slow out of the blocks and gave away sloppy penalties and were soon three points adrift. The home side however gradually eased their way into the game and began to enjoy most of the territory although rigorous defence from the visitors restricted the well drilled Andover backs. Eventually the pressure told and a New Milton scrum five metres from their line was won against the head, the ball whipped out to Gabe Williams to score in the corner and take the lead.  Andover maintained their territorial advantage but shunned three points from a kickable penalty opting instead to go for a second try which was in vain and in the final analysis proved costly.

Andover lost a little intensity early in the second period, most of the play was in the central portion of the pitch and ball was occasionally lost as the support players were slow getting to the breakdown.  The deadlock was eventually broken when an Andover pass was intercepted enabling the visitors to score under the posts and stretch their lead with a conversion. The try galvanised the Andover team and they were immediately on the attack seeking holes in the New Milton defences.  A line out and drive brought the reward, Alex Arter emerged from the pile of bodies to bring the scores level. Determined defence continued to snuff out the visitors attacks, with the clock ticking Andover had a series of scrums five metres out, with an overlap and the whitewash begging the ball went to ground. A line out following a penalty inside the 22 provided a last gasp opportunity but the New Milton defence held firm and the referee, who managed to keep the lid on the pot as it occasionally came to the boil, called time.

A great effort from both sides but Andover really needed the win to keep the league title in their own hands, Bruce Forsyth’s catch phrase will be ringing in their ears- what do points mean? 


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