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Sunday, 16th September 2018
Andover Colts 18 Alton Colts 8
Andover opened their Hampshire division one campaign with a hard earned but deserved win over old rivals Alton at the Goodship ground last Sunday.
Andover have not beaten Alton in the league before, but this new look side, a mixture of under seventeens and eighteens, dominated possession and territory throughout and could have won by more.
Andover, led by skipper Tommy O'Brien tore into their opponents driving them back at scrum time, and with the lively Bryn Waite ruling the lineout, they camped on Alton's line.
Try as they might however, brilliant defence from Alton stopped Andover and when Alton took the lead from a rare attack, it look bad for the young 'All Blacks.'
Losing Tom Wiles and Max Greenwood to injury didn't help, but Andover immediately smashed back into the opposition.
The impressive Harry Scobie pulled the strings at half back and with Callum Barber Starkey and CJ Fiern marauding everywhere, Alton were bound to succumb.
From a short scrum, Fiern fed Sean Higgins and the scrum half needed no second bidding to level the scores.
Soon after Ronan Walker added a fine penalty to give Andover a narrow lead at the break.
In the second half Myles Wakeham and Arlo Mately began making inroads and with James Wallace kicking and countering intelligently, Alton were pegged back again.
Strong running from locks Dean Smith and Sam Crofts pushed them back further but Andover couldn't break through.
Enter Alfie Appleton. The huge forward crashed over from a catch and drive after his own charge from a brilliant interception set the chance up.
Dan Gregory took over lineout duties from Waite and continued the dominance, as Charlie Rhodes began to cut big holes in the tiring visitors.
With moments to go, from another catch and drive Walker dived over for Andover's third try and Andover had the win.