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Sunday, 24th September 2017

Andover colts 3 - Winchester  colts 38

Basepoint sponsored Andover Colts got their league campaign off the ground with a home fixture against league 1 local rivals Winchester.

The match, played in a good spirit was well refereed and a great advert for the game and had a bit of everything for the spectators.

Both teams started well, with Winchester having the lions share of the possession and territory. Winchester hit their strong runners time and time again, but tremendous defence from Andover kept them at bay. This was especially the case when the home side were reduced to 14 players for a spell, due to repeated infringements at the ruck. The match remained pointless until the deadlock was finally broken when Harrison Pape kicked a penalty in the 27th minute to give the All Blacks the lead against the run of play.

The score remained 3-0 until the last minute of the half when Winchester finally managed to move the ball into the corner to score. A fantastic conversion from the touch line gave the visitors a 7-3 half time lead.

The second half started in much the same fashion. Andover managed a few breaks of their own, but were defending for large periods of the match. Doug Armes made an impact, carrying well and causing disruption at the breakdown but eventually the pressure told and through a driven lineout Winchester made ground before moving the ball wide to score. They used the driving maul to good effect several times during the half and as their confidence grew, they managed three more tries through a combination of good handling and the driving maul.

The game was finally put beyond Andover when Winchester were awarded a penalty try for a high tackle as they approached the line.

Despite not being the result Andover wanted, they should take great pride from a strong defensive performance and despite Winchester deserving the win, the scoreline really didn't reflect the nature of the contest.

The All Blacks welcome Havant at the Goodship Ground next Sunday in the second round of the league.


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