Petersfield win crucial top-of-the-table fixture

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Friday 31st January 2020 2:00 pm
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Action from Petersfield’s 87-3 win against Farnborough on December 21

 

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Alton 5 Petersfield 25: PETERSFIELD claimed the bragging rights as they won a crucial top-of-the-table Hampshire Premier East Hampshire derby at Alton on Saturday.

Field kicked off up the hill and immediately regained the ball from a knock on.

One minute, one strong scrum and a few phases later, Nick Blumlein was given a relatively easy shot at goal which he dispatched with ease.

The pattern of the game was set during the first quarter – what possession and territory Alton gained was lost through inaccuracies that crept in as they battered themselves against Field’s defence.

Whenever they could, Field punched holes with their abrasive back line and driving scrums and mauls with the power in the pack. As the match drew on they began to reap their rewards.

Field scored the opening try of the match. First to react to a bizarre passage of play five metres from the Alton try line – during which Alton appeared to assume the ball had gone into touch – Field scrum half Finlay Sloan fly-hacked the ball over the try line, only to be tackled as he ran through to dot the ball down. The colt seemed to make the grounding, but the referee awarded a penalty try, saving Blumlein the need to kick the extras.

Field continued to toil up the hill, looking for the points that would take them two scores away from their hosts.

Finally, with less than ten minutes to go in the half, Field secured the breakthrough following a five-metre penalty lineout. A split drive saw Alton lose numbers but they still managed to halt Field just inches before the line. They could not, however, prevent the next drive which saw lock Franko Tomic piling through low to the ground to score just over the line. Blumlein’s conversion passed narrowly wide of the right-hand upright.

Field saw out the remaining minutes in their opponents’ territory with Alton seemingly happy to put the ball in touch to end the half so they could regroup at the break.

As in the first half, Field came out of the blocks hard at the start of the second, beating Alton back into their 22 with some powerful drives from forwards and backs.

Playing a penalty advantage and finding himself with space and time, Blumlein knocked over a simple drop-goal to get the scoreboard ticking again.

As they had in the first half, Alton continued to butcher promising attacks with execution errors in the face of a brutal Field defence.

Halfway through the third quarter, Alton finally hooked up a lineout drive which put them over at the highest corner of the pitch for their only score of the game.

Following the restart a collapsed lineout maul resulted in the referee brandishing his yellow card in Alton’s direction. This appeared to be a team card following a series of infringements.

It took only a couple of minutes before Field made their superior numbers count.

The effort still took some finishing as the centre pairing of Greg Jansen and Jordan Hunter combined to devastating effect down the right wing.

Jansen drew the defence before offloading out of the back of the hand to his team mate.

Hunter, taking the ball at pace, ran down the despairing defenders before crashing down over the line. Blumlein slotted the extras with a fine kick from the touchline that had just enough legs to carry over the crossbar.

That was to be the final score of the match, but Field’s Tom Whitehouse was sin-binned for not retreating from a quickly-taken penalty.