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Sunday, 17th December 2017
Wootton Bassett 24 - Andover 5
In the return leg of this friendly fixture, Andover found themselves pitched against a determined Bassett side in their last match before the Christmas break.
Andover travelled with only 17 players and the home side were eager to level the match tally after a narrow loss at the Goodship ground in the first game of the season.
In difficult cold, wet conditions, Basepoint sponsored Andover started well, with determined tackling from the off, but with limited ball to play with the defensive work eventually took its toll and Bassett opened the scoring through a lineout which was caught and driven from close range.
Shortly afterwards Bassett doubled their lead with a quickly taken penalty which caught Andover napping. Andover then seemed to wake up a little and play with more passion, which was rewarded when James Wallace intercepted on his own 22 and showed the opposition a clean pair of heels all the way to the try line.
With a half time sore of 10-5, Andover were in with a great shout, but the home side gradually took control of the game, helped by a ten minute spell when Andover were reduced to fourteen players. They scored two second half tries, the first via a good handling move out wide and the second through a break in the midfield. Both tries were converted well by their fly half.
Andover couldn't manage another score, and despite another strong defensive effort form all, but especially man of the match Harry Scobie and a spell towards the end of the game when they upped the tempo and strung some phases together, they finished the second half unrewarded for their efforts and the final score remained 24-5.
As was the case last year on this fixture, the lads enjoyed a few festive snacks and drinks dressed in their Christmas jumpers and saw out the first half of the season with good cheer.
In the new year, they will need to try and find more of an attacking threat to go with the great defensive efforts they have shown so far.