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Sunday, 12th March 2017
Fordingbridge Colts 10 – Andover Colts 32
In the final league fixture of the season prior to the playoffs Andover needed just a win to secure top spot in the league. Any thoughts of a walk in the park against lower placed Fordingbridge were quickly snubbed out. Andover made a meal of this victory, not just a quick kebab of a meal but a full blown four course dinner with all the trimmings. Some credit must go to the home side who battled resolutely and defied their position in the league. Andover were thinking, or maybe that was the problem they weren't thinking just expecting a bonus point win. The pitch and the weather were perfect for running rugby but Basepoint Business Centre sponsored Andover just couldn't get into their stride. The handling was poor, the decision making muddled and the support play non existent. It took an interception by Ryan Doyle to finally break the deadlock with the opening try duly converted by Harrison Pape who extended the lead with a penalty before Fordingbridge were rewarded for their endeavours with a try to halve the deficit.
The second half with some personnel changes opened on a more positive note with James Wood scoring under the posts and Gabe Williams adding the extras. The game then reverted to type with Andover relinquishing territory and Fordingbridge applying the pressure which finally led to a try. With a seven point gap Andover were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, eventually electing to kick, the ball struck the post but this presented an opportunity for Gabe Williams to score and extend the lead. In the final ten minutes Charlie Horrell finished the best Andover move of the match and to round it off Charlie Deavall scored a fine individual try.
The scoreboard indicated a comfortable win for the visitors but this was undoubtedly the worst Andover performance of the season. One to forget, time to regroup, prepare for the playoffs and a return to the form that has put Andover Colts top of the league.