Action from Petersfield second team’s 16-11 defeat against Havant’s third team on Saturday
TRICKY fixtures for all three of Petersfield’s senior teams on Saturday resulted in a mixed day at the office for the club.
The first team travelled to potential banana-skin side Millbrook, hoping to put the brake on their hosts’ unbeaten home record which stretched back to the middle of October.
The form book suggested Field were unlikely to match the score of the last team to beat Millbrook at home, Alton, who won 40-14.
In the end, however, Field produced the goods with another try-bonus winning effort that keeps the pressure on their near neighbours.
It was yet another six of the best, with Field effectively home and hosed by half time before cantering out of sight on the scoreboard by the final whistle, the tries coming from Phil Ryan, Ryan Wilkie, Finlay Sloan, a double from Andrew Wood and one for Andy Barnes, who swapped his coach’s hat for a player’s jersey for the fixture.
Nick Blumlein added the extra points with four conversions and a penalty.
Field’s second team had their own challenge with the visit of Havant’s third team, the team who replaced Petersfield at the top of Merit Table 2 at the start of 2020.
This was a tight and cagey affair, with neither side able to land a decisive blow as they fought for field position.
It was no surprise, then, that the sides were both restricted to just one try apiece – Field missing the conversion to put Havant in the lead 7-5 at the halfway mark.
Field went for broke in the second half and went close to scoring in the early phases.
However, as the match wore on neither side looked capable of breaching the defensive line to score what would have been a decisive try.
Anxious to get the scoreboard ticking and receive some reward for their efforts, Field turned to the boot and knocked over a penalty to take a slender lead.
Havant looked for points too and, on a rare venture into Field’s half in the second half, slotted one of their own.
This approach continued, but where Field were profligate with the boot, Havant showed greater accuracy.
Field kicked again to make it 11-10 only to be answered with an audacious, sweetly-struck drop-goal from Havant.
A penalty conceded at the end allowed the visitors to add to their total and brought the game to an end at 16-11.
It was a very tough day at the office for Field’s third team, who have been parachuted into Merit Table 3 following the collapse of the league they dominated for the first half of the season. Their hosts on Saturday, Fordingbridge’s second team, have yet to taste defeat at home, so it was no real surprise that Field struggled.
The visitors did manage to put ten points past the home defence, though – and only Trojans’ third team have done better at The Recreation Ground.
Fordingbridge ran out 53-10 winners in the end.
The pressure doesn’t disappear next week for two of Field’s teams as the first team travel to Alton, looking to reverse the narrow loss at home in October, and the third team take to the road again to play New Milton’s second team.