Winchester RFC

Finally a fancy dress Win !!!

by Mark Castle

Winchester don't have the best of record when fancy dress is chosen but Winchester finally buck the trend with Nautical as the theme.

On a cold and frosty morning Winchester 2nds embarked on their day trip to Sandown. With a few injuries from

last weeks storming display against Tottonians there where debuts for Toby Salmon, Liam Murray and Tom Lock returning

from injury.

Last few weeks have seen Sandown on a roll and jump to 3rd in the league and Winchester knew this would be a tough game.

Having lost the toss Winch kicked long and immediately put the home side under pressure and failure to clear allowed

Winchesters pack to recycle and push there way over with Liam king scoring his first try of the season.

For the first 30 minutes Winchester had total forward domination and constant quick ball allowed Ben Welch to skip over

for a try and then James Barritt to crash over. King slotted the conversation and gave Winch a 17 - 0 lead.

Sandown playing of scraps had one or two chances to break out of there half but failure to control the ball meant

they came away empty handed.

Toby Salmon playing his first game for Winch was in excellent form and capped his Man of the Match performance off

with a try before half time in a move he started from the half way line. Taking a pop pass from scrum half Alder he

broke the game line before being stopped by the full back. Quick recycling from Barritt and a further quick ruck

saw Toby cross the line from ten meters out.

Sandown are never a side to admit defeat and showed true git in the second half, they came close to scoring several times but Winchester

defence was keen to keep the score to zero. This looked to be the case when James Barritt decided to ignore the 5 man over lap and pop inside

to Pete Hobbs when five meters out but the home side where to slow to put a guard and Barritt receiving a pop pass from Hobbs crossed

line. Jerry Alfandari converted leaving the score at 29 - 0.

Sandown kept battling and deserved there try 20 minutes from time as they forwards began to make driving runs and Winchester

tiring started to drop off tackles.

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Final score 29 - 5. Winchester 2nds played extremely well and it would not be unjust to say Sandown didn't know what had hit them

for the first half. Winchester need to maintain this progress and keep this work rate into the second half of games if they want to

keep there lead in Hampshire Merit 1.

Winchester will be without Jim Trantham for a while as he takes a break for a knee operation but with several key players returning

from injury things look good for the Nun roads side.

Captain Mark Castle was quoted as saying "Having had 5 weeks with no game to win last week was good but we didn't know what to expect

today and to start so well I am extremely proud of the team. We still have areas to work on but everything today was done on our terms."

Winchester host Southampton this Saturday in Hampshire Merit 1, they are taking each game at a time but know that Solent University on 24th March

could be the crunch game.

by Rob Barrow

Other Merit 1 Results

Andover 2nds 50 10 Tottonians 3rds
Petersfield 2nds 12 51 Solent University
Trojans 3rds 27 7 US Portsmouth 2nds
Southampton 2nds 15 5 Havant 3rds
Sandown and Shanklin 2nds 5 29 Winchester 2nds
Portsmouth 3rds 19 27 Alton 2nds

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