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Sunday, 15th October 2017
Alton Colts 43 - Andover Colts 20
"A game of two halves" is an often used cliche in sport, however, it seems to perfectly sum up the Basepoint sponsored All Blacks Colts performances during their league campaign so far. The match at Alton was no different.
Andover produced a fantastic first half display to go into the break three points to the good, but were brushed aside during the second period.
The game started in a similar manner to the last. A poorly dealt with kick off let Alton gain good field position. From the resulting lineout, they drove the ball with a maul and were 7-0 up inside two minutes. Andover responded immediately when Alton did exactly the same. They didn't control the restart and a couple of passes later Andover were under the sticks themselves, courtesy of Jack Moffatt.
Andover then turned the screw for a couple of minutes and a sustained spell of pressure saw Alfie Appleton crash over from close range to take control of the game.
The rest of the half saw the game swing between the two teams. Alton scored two tries through a good handling move and then a second due to rare missed tackles from Andover. The All Blacks then scored another of their own through Ronan Walker. With the last action of the half Walker slotted a penalty to give the visitors a well deserved 20-17 lead.
The second half became increasingly niggly and several incidents due to infringements not being penalised had the potential to spill over, however to their credit both sets of players just kept emotions in check and prevented this from escalating further.
The home side were the ones who ultimately benefitted from this and scored four unanswered tries in the second half, three of which were converted to take the game away from Andover and ultimately flatter themselves in terms of the overall scoreline.
This was a close encounter, which could have gone either way and provided the fairly large crowd with an entertaining, competitive match to fill their Sunday afternoon. Both teams will be able to take positives from this game and in addition will go into mid week training with things to work on. The return leg later in the season should be one all will look forward to.