Ventnor Mighty Lions played Sandown and Shanklin Hurricanes 2nd team this past Saturday on a wet and muddy Watcombe Bottom. This was a much anticipated local derby as the two teams haven’t been in the same league for a couple of years and the last time they met was back in 2013. It also featured quite a few players who came through Vectis and coaches from the youth team past and present in both sides.
The Lions came out firing and returning veteran forward Paul Collins crashed through a few hurricanes players for the first try after just five minutes of play. Keeping the pressure up the Lions stayed in the Hurricanes half and kept them pinned back. The second try again game from veteran forward Paul Collins who picked up from the back of a ruck on drove over the line to score his second try in only his second match in 9 years. The Hurricanes never gave up and came back fighting using their big runners to their advantage punching holes through the Lions defence giving their backs the opportunity to capitalize and score two quick tries to bring the game back in balance. The hard-hitting and pace of the game soon took its toll with injuries from the Lions losing the dancing prop, Ben Gough, to a hip injury.
Hurricanes at this point started rolling out their substitutes from a very experienced bench. In another first veteran full-back Warren Riches review his first yellow card for back chatting a referee after attempting to clothesline the Hurricanes loosehead prop. The Lions did their best to stop the dogged attack from the Hurricanes but this wasn’t meant to be losing two more players to injury in quick succession.
“Samoa Joe” Max Wheeler to a serious shoulder injury and Tommy “father of a nation” Engelgardt to a multiple finger injury.
Although the Lions never gave up the hunt, Hurricanes dominated much of the second half to take the bragging rights this time.