Isle of Wight RFC’s second team lost their previously unbeaten record in dramatic fashion at Alresford RFC. An incident-packed affair appeared likely to finish honours even until the hosts manufactured the winning score in the 79th minute to break the hearts of the gallant Islanders.
Before 10 minutes had elapsed, the game was brought to a halt as a serious leg injury to a home player led to a 40 minute stoppage before the ambulance could arrive. Neither side seemed particularly affected by the long wait as the frenetic opening pace continued on the restart. The first half generally saw attacks on top, as both teams’ rearguards struggled to remain intact.
The second half was in stark contrast to the first, as defences now took over and scores completely dried up. IW had a good spell of pressure in the third quarter, inspired by replacement Dan Bishop and tireless flanker Salar Bettum. Importantly though, they did not make it count on the scoreboard. Leahy was short with a long-range penalty attempt, while White was denied his fourth try in controversial circumstances, as the referee did not see the ball grounded.
As the three-quarter mark passed, the game started to shift towards the home side.
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight RFC 2XV: Leahy, Hallam, Fu, Spence, N Joyce, Elsom, Hanson, Martin, Guy, Davey, Jones, Biles, T Groves, Bettum, White. Replacements: D Bishop, J Bishop.