Isle of Wight RFC 2XV 56-0 Kingsclere RFC
Teeming rain and a strong breeze did not affect the rampant IW second team, who went nine points clear at the top of Hampshire Three after a clearcut victory over Kingsclere.
Taking up where they left off at US Portsmouth the previous week, IW brought the key ingredients of defensive aggression and line speed once again, up in opposition faces at every opportunity. This led directly to three of their eight tries, as Kingsclere handling errors were seized upon and returned by the victors for scores. The first of these came after only two minutes, as a foot rush was finished by Luke Margham. By the seventh minute, IW were 14-0 up as full-back James Fitton sidestepped over after a flowing move.
Kingsclere had the significant breeze behind them in the first half, and enjoyed territorial dominance for the greater part of the first half. Yet they made little progress against a committed Island defence, where scrum-half Harry Elsom stood out and earned himself the Rouse Ltd man of the match award. Lifting the siege, IW scored three further tries before the break, a combination of forcing opposition errors and their own flowing running play. Margham completed his hat-trick, while Fitton scored his second before being forced off injured, giving IW a 35-0 lead at half-time.
The second half was a little scrappier and lacking in rhythm, as the conditions took their toll. Kingsclere no longer posed a real attacking threat, but IW also struggled to achieve continuity. They competed vigorously against a bigger pack, father and son pairing Adam and Tom Groves showing up strongly. Eventually IW mined out three further tries to embellish their victory, Tom Turtle scoring the first with a powerful drive. George Miles came off the bench to touch down, while Joss Spence scored the final try after an outrageous flicked pick-up by Margham, who converted all eight tries for a tally of 31 points. The latter was awarded the Biffa player of the day accolade. Credit also to Jayme Bishop and Chris Ormerod who came on as replacements for Kingsclere.
IW now have some breathing space at the top of the league before they travel to Lymington on 20 October.
IW: Fitton, Blowers, Hallam ©, Margham, Hooper, Warvill, Elsom, Willetts, Turtle, Davey, D Bishop, Pudney, Guy, Spencer-Brading, A Groves. Replacements: Spence, Ross Martin, Bettum, T Groves, White, N Brading, Miles, J Bishop, Ormerod.