Petersfield 53 New Milton 17: PETERSFIELD Rugby Club’s first team went into Saturday’s match with league rivals New Milton knowing that they could only win the league and gain automatic promotion into London 3 South West if they scored a bonus-point victory while denying their visitors a bonus point of their own.
New Milton scored first, but the home side responded when flanker Toby Sydenham was escorted over the line at the back of a penalty lineout drive.
Field attacked from the restart and a break by Jack Glancy bought enough yards to allow his kick to get within a couple of yards from the line. Seb Tuff did well to secure the ball with his fingertips before crossing near the posts.
Next on the scoresheet was Franko Tomic, who drove over close to the left corner after a number of rucks near the line.
A New Milton player was sin-binned for a reckless tackle on Alex Patience and Tuff scored when Glancy’s long lofted pass took numerous defenders out of the picture and Tuff did the rest. With the score at 22-7, Field had their bonus-point win.
Field kept up the intensity and, with a couple of minutes to go to the break, Michael Robbins dived in from close range for Field’s fifth try.
Two minutes into the second half, a break by the backs gave Tuff the chance to gain his hat-trick and he outran everyone to the line.
Just before the end of the third quarter, Glancy raced up the middle of the park to score and Josh Haslett added his third conversion.
Another New Milton player was sent to the sin bin, this time for a late, high tackle on Glancy as he grounded the ball.
As the final quarter started, Field looked as though they had expended too much energy in racking up such a huge score and tired bodies began to give away soft penalties.
New Milton used the territorial advantage that this gave them to pay rare visits to the Field 22 and pounce to score the tries they so desperately needed to win the league, if not prevent an emphatic defeat.
After their second try, Field restarted with a deep kick that was fumbled by New Milton, gifting Field a five-metre scrum. After a reset the pack walked Harley Orr over the line for one of his easiest scores this season.
Halsett’s conversion took Field to within two of their half-century. This unlikely target was exceeded at the end of the game courtesy of another backs move, this one finished by Eddie Matthews.
However, before this New Milton had pulled back their third try with another tap-and-go penalty.
New Milton needed one more try for the losing bonus point they needed to win the league, but Field held firm and scored another try to add the cherry on the cake and let the celebrations begin.