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Sunday, 26th February 2017
Andover Colts 48 - Petersfield Colts 10
Basepoint sponsored Andover Colts took another step towards the League 2 title with a comprehensive 48-10 victory over third placed Petersfield, but failed to really light things up at any point.
Unfortunately Petersfield could only muster 13 players and the contest had to be played with reduced numbers, which meant little game time for the Andover squad and lots of time on the subs bench pondering what might have been.
The game started brightly enough, Gabe Williams opened Andover's account on the wing inside the first minute after the ball was fed down the line following a kick through by Petersfield.
Andover were in again after 8 minutes. JJ Thomas was on the shoulder of Gwynne Davies following a quick tap from Lewis Reed in the attacking 22 to collect the ball and touch down close to the posts. The conversion by Gwynne Davies was added.
Five minutes later, Gwynne Davies increased his seasons tally with a fine individual break from his own half, which he also converted.
Any thoughts of a quick bonus point were quickly dispelled. Petersfield had a good spell of pressure which led to a try and Andover failed to string any phases of play together, wasting numerous opportunities and turning ball over in contact, leading to a disjointed spell.
Towards the end of the half, Andover got the daylight they needed. A defensive lineout for 'Field' close to their try line was turned over after a massive hit from Callum Smith. The spilled ball was pounced on by Finn Waite to score. Shortly afterwards, Ben Reed made a fine individual break from his own half showing the defence a clean pair of heels to make the half time score 29-5.
Numerous changes either side of half time by the All Blacks allowed the squad to be rotated, but proved quite disruptive. Field took full advantage of this and again had a good spell of pressure, scoring once more and creating several chances out wide, only quality last minute tackling keeping them out on several occasions.
Andover finally put the game beyond the visitors with three second half tries. Sam Bell was on the shoulder of Layton Brook Cooper to take the offload following a fine break and ran in from the 22. Charlie Deavall also profited from a smart break by Joe Joy and finally Josh Middleton intercepted and put on the afterburners to score Andover's 8th try. Harrison Pape converted two of the three second half tries.
Andover should feel pleased with an eight try victory, but it was a performance that never really got going and Field must take credit for making it hard work for the hosts. It had more of a feel of 'job done' rather than the spectacle the scoreline might have suggested.