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Sandown & Shanklin RFC hosted their own inter-squad match in place of their scheduled league fixture against Alresford RFC

Sandown & Shanklin RFC hosted their own inter-squad match in place of their scheduled league fixture against Alresford RFC.

Sandown & Shanklin RFC were set to welcome Alresford RFC to the Fairway for their final league fixture at home and their penultimate league fixture. Sadly, Alresford, struggling with injuries couldn’t field a team to come to the island, and with that came the walkover for the Hurricanes. This sealed 2nd spot for Sandown & Shanklin and in turn confirmed their spot in the London South West 3 Play-Off fixture against Weybridge Vandals RFC of Surrey 1, who confirmed their place on Saturday afternoon. The Play-off will be held on Saturday 13th April, at the Fairway and we hope everyone can come down to the Club to help support the boys, in their bid to secure promotion back to London South West 3.

Meanwhile with the lack of a competitive fixture for two weeks on the bounce, and the Hurricanes 2nd XV also not having a game, there were enough available players to field two teams and enjoy the fine late March sunshine.

The opening exchanges were hard fought and fiesty, with both sides show strong defensive work, indicative of the way both the 1st and 2nd XV’s have played this season. It was only after the first quarter until the first try was scored. With the Maroons scoring a well-worked try via a rolling maul. It didn’t take long for the Blues to score a try in response, some quick handling finding Damian Seder on the edge, to give him space to sprint in under the posts.

The Maroons managed to score a further two tries, off the back of their strong work up front. The returning Ryan Carey was a menace at the breakdown and the work of the forward pack helped create space for Luke Hunter and Ben Shannon to score their first tries before half time.

The teams swapped ends and the Red team picked up where they left off. This time with their backline helping creating the platform, with strong carries from Jack Wedderkop and Michael Barrett. This led to Luke Hunter getting his second, and then Ryan Carey also dotting down moments later.

This didn’t dampen the spirits of the Blues, who scored the try of the game a short time later. With the ball set up in midfield a wrap around play involving Flux, Sam Tyson and Wayne Williams, allowed Tyson to break free and score under the posts. Despite the shift in momentum, it was the Maroons that scored next, with Cameron Mitchell seeing space in the backfield, and kicking accurately for Ben Sanderson to gather the ball and score.

The Blues struck back with their final try of the game, when they had a sustained period of pressure in the Maroons 22. After several phases and strong carries from Harry Hopper, Adam Tyas and Jack Winter, the ball was spun wide, and Josh Wetherick found Tyson on a short line for him to cut in and then sprint in under the posts.

The game came to a conclusion, when Maroons scored off the back of their strong maul, when Ben Shannon crashed over a few phases later.

It was a great afternoon, with the Club playing host to Vectis RFC U14’s who welcomed touring Havant RFC U14’s to the Fairway, and enjoyed the action and a BBQ for post-match food!

The Hurricanes would also like to thank Elys Norman for kindly volunteering to referee the match, Elys is a Hampshire Young Referee and he martialled the game expertly despite being one of the youngest people on the field!

Also, a huge thank you to Victoria Winter, Chairman Bill MacPherson, Club Captain Simon Swallow and the volunteers behind the bar and the day, that helped make the day a great success for the Club, despite the fact there was no rugby organised for the seniors at the beginning of the week!

The Hurricanes now turn their attention to the final league fixture of the season for the 1st XV, when they make the trip over the Solent to Portsmouth RFC 2nd XV. The Mighty Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV are on the road as well, and travel to Tottonians RFC to play their Vets. Both played Saturday 6th April, before the big one on the 13th April…