Petersfield 37 Ellingham & Ringwood 20: FOLLOWING their stunning victory at Sandown and Shanklin, Field’s first team returned to Penns Place on Saturday to face Ellingham and Ringwood.
Petersfield started brightly, with centre Jordan Hunter bursting tackles with one of his formidable driving runs to open the scoring after just two minutes. The extras were added by Nick Blumlein.
It was the visitors who scored next. Field ill-discipline led to a penalty attempt in front of the posts just five minutes later, which allowed the visitors back into the match.
Field winger Tom Land secured the restart kick and immediately put his side on the front foot. Following a couple of quick breakdowns, the ball found Hunter again. He almost made it to the line but, just as he was about to be swamped by defenders, he flicked a casual pass out of the back of his right hand to send Jordan Allan in through a gaping hole for Field’s second try.
Once again Blumlein made sure his team took all the points on offer, extending the lead to 11 points halfway through the first quarter.
Field continued to press, gaining a reward on 15 minutes when they were awarded a penalty on the 22, just to the right of the posts. Blumlein added the three points, creating a two converted-try lead.
A penalty then presented the visitors with an easy three points to reduce their deficit.
This was quickly followed by a rare foray by Ellingham down their left wing. Field’s drifting defence looked to have sufficient numbers to deal with the threat but three missed tackles allowed the visitors in for their first try.
Blumlein then knocked over two more penalties to extend Petersfield’s lead.
Almost immediately before half time, an Ellingham player was sin-binned for a dangerous entry to a ruck but there was no time for Field to take advantage and the sides went in at 23-13 at the break.
Field scored first in the second half. The ball was swung wide to Land, who used the support inside him to fix the defence before slipping through on the left wing. Blumlein continued his 100 per cent kicking record with his most difficult kick of the game, out wide on the wing.
Ellingham fought back from the restart, setting up a rare passage of play in Field’s 22 and asking questions of Field’s defence. The visitors stuck to their task with a ball that refused to be given up and, eventually, got their reward with a drive over next to the posts.
The 14 men of Ellingham had scored a patient, well-worked second try to nullify Field’s yellow-card advantage and, with the conversion, reduce the deficit to ten points.
Restored to full strength for the Field restart, it was clear Ellingham believed they were capable of taking the game and they battled bravely in defence to prevent Field from gaining their fourth, bonus-point-winning try.
The game was finally put to bed as the final ten minutes began, as Field worked the phases from right to left before number eight Tom Whitehouse powered up to within five metres of the line.
A quick flat pass from scrum half Ethan Ogilvie hit his loose head prop, Jackson Clark, who crashed through between two defenders, bouncing one aside before dragging the other with him over the line to score next to the right-hand upright. Blumlein added the extras and dashed any hopes the visitors had of a losing bonus point.
The action was not complete, however, as with a minute to go, Field hooker Jamie Williams received a yellow card for too many infringements at the breakdown.