Ventnor RFC 1XV 9-7 Isle of Wight RFC 1XV
Dramatic defeat was the lot of IW at Watcombe Bottom in this Hampshire One derby, as a late penalty by former IW player Ricky Keyes secured victory for the hosts.
IW gave a disappointing first-half performance, as Ventnor maintained possession well and forced them to defend for long periods, albeit largely outside the 22. IW were not helped by an astonishing penalty count against them throughout the match, amounting to 23 in total, both when in possession and when defending. Two of these were converted to penalty goals by Ventnor’s fly-half, and the home team led 6-0 at the break.
On the restart, IW were transformed and it was their turn to apply some pressure, engineering line breaks from Sam McQueen, James Webster and Gary Warvill. However, the support was not quite there at the crucial moments and Ventnor’s scramble defence was able to intervene. Eventually, the support did arrive and a flowing move saw replacement Andy Rann stopped short, before Luke Blackman showed great presence of mind to dive over from the ensuing ruck. Lewis Murray landed the angled conversion and IW had a one-point lead.
Though still able to do little right in the referee’s eyes, IW now looked the more likely and built a couple of threatening attacks, but did not capitalise. Entering the final minutes Ventnor fought back with spirit, and when awarded another penalty took full advantage to earn the win.
A disappointed IW will look to bounce back at home to Locks Heath Pumas at Wootton Rec. on Saturday.
IW: Sweetman, Reed, Warvill, L Blackman, Ormerod, Murray, Marriott, Puzey, McQueen, Newnham, Boulter, Blackburn, Lynch, Webster, Brown. Replacements: G Smith, Rann, Bennett.
Additionally further images appear in the Ventnor RFC 1XV Photobook Volume 2: v Isle of Wight RFC 1XV 20/10/2018 and the Isle of Wight Rugby Photobook Vol. 3: Ventnor RFC 1XV v Isle of Wight RFC 1XV, 20/10/2018 from 5063 Publishing.