In front of a big crowd we entertained Eastleigh at the Rec who have had a difficult start to the season but are always a threat. This proved to be the case when they took an early lead from a penalty after just five minutes.
The Eastleigh game plan is very forward orientated with their rumbling style of route one play making it very difficult for the opposition to get their hands on the ball. Indeed, it was twenty two minutes into the match before we finally got into the game and opened our account with an unconverted try from Dee Stone.
Two penalties, one from either side the latter on the stroke of half time from Mat Norton, rounded of what was a rather dull and somewhat uninspiring first half reflected in the score line of 8 – 6.
All of that was about to change in the second half which was a total opposite of the first with us scoring five unanswered tries all of which were converted by Mat Norton, who after a four week break returned in fine form, kicking exceptionally well from both the tee and out of hand.
Despite the visitor’s dominance in the scrum and their continued close forward game plan our overall fitness began to tell as we slowly took control of the match. Two tries from Tom Hill and one apiece from Ben Broderick, Jasper Wallis and Mark Hammond, all in the last thirty minutes of the match, saw us finish the game strongly with a convincing bonus point win by 43 – 6.
The win puts us up to fourth in the Hampshire Premier league with twenty points, only four off Petersfield who currently are undefeated and head the table.
It was a game of first and lasts as Ali Cross made his starting debut for the senior side and Carter Tuck, who was named Man of the Match, played his last game for the club. He was presented with a club shirt in the bar after the match by Mark Hammond and we wish him well on his return home.
Next week we are away to Fareham Heathens who are currently eighth in the table.