ANDOVER RFC

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Sunday, 9th April 2017

Andover Colts v Havant Academy

Tier Two Final

Lost 43-17

After a good win v Totts in glorious conditions last weekend, Basepoint sponsored Andover travelled to Havant for the final.

Someone upstairs had turned the heat up a good few degrees from last weekend and in addition to the travelling players from Andover, numerous others were heading down south too. Those that headed to the coast instead of Havant, missed out on a thrilling match as both teams battled hard in the sweltering conditions.

The early exchanges were keenly contested and very abrasive until the deadlock was broken by Ben Reed who made a fine individual break from just outside his own 22. Beating four defenders on his way to the line he sidestepped his way through the defence to open the scoring. Unfortunately the conversion was missed. Havant came back quickly with strong, direct running through the centre to score under the posts and take the lead. This was extended shortly afterwards with a second try and conversion following a driving maul off a lineout.

Any thoughts of Havant having it their own way were snubbed out as Charlie Deavall bulldozed his way to the line, showing good footwork and lots of power from just inside the 22 to score under the posts. JJ Thomas added the extras to reduce the deficit to two points. Andover then had a good spell of pressure and had a TMO been available they would have had a busy ten minutes as the 'All Blacks' were twice judged to be held up over the line.

Havant then finished the half with their third try. This time courtesy of good handling out wide.

After the well earned break Havant started strongly and scored out wide again to extend their lead further. Having suffered a couple of injuries either side of the break, Andover were then forced to reshuffle their backs line and the heat also started to take its toll.

Despite lots of commitment, a totally dominant scrum and a third try that "might have been," the 'All Blacks' started to tire and in the last fifteen minutes the home side took the game away from Andover with a further three tries.

To their credit Andover never gave up and they had the last say with Alex Arter crashing over from a 5m lineout to restore some pride.

The final score of 43-17 really did not reflect the match and despite Havant thoroughly deserving their victory it was keenly contested throughout and was a great advert for Colts rugby in Hampshire too.

Andover can now enjoy a week off over the Easter period before finishing their season with their final two fixtures after the break.

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