Action from Petersfield’s 55-12 win against Fordingbridge on Saturday
Petersfield 55 Fordingbridge 12: PERHAPS inevitably given their heroics of the previous week, Field looked a little flat in their rematch with the side that pushed them close in October, visitors Fordingbridge.
The fixture was almost postponed twice during the week as Fordingbridge struggled to pull together a squad.
The New Forest side turned up in the end with a scratch squad that battled valiantly against the more settled-looking home team.
Fordingbridge, kicking off towards the Taro into a crosswind, made a good start but were soon pushed back into their own half.
It seemed inevitable Field would open the scoring, but it took until halfway through the first quarter for the scoreboard to be troubled.
When a defensive Fordingbridge lineout in their 22 was blown off course, Field took the brave option to take the lineout themselves – rather than a scrum.
Hooker Jamie Williams fizzed in a hard, straight delivery that, once secured, allowed the pack to rumble to the line for the first of Field’s nine tries. Nick Blumlein slotted the extras with a kick across the wind.
The visitors set about their hosts and got their rewards through a hole in the Field defence. The try was converted and the scores were level.
Within minutes of the restart Field finally hooked up a move to Phillip Ryan, who nudged the ball behind the defensive line and into the in-goal area where the supporting Andrew Wood gratefully pounced on the ball.
With the wind taking the ball away from the posts Blumlein missed the conversion, but he was more fortunate with an attempt from a similar position some five minutes later. Backing himself, Ryan beat his opposite number for pace down his wing to notch up his side’s third try.
Despite being 12 points clear, Field had still not hit their straps and seemed to be struggling to cope with the wind that should have been more of a hindrance to their opponents.
However, with less than ten minutes to the end of the half, Field picked the short side from a scrum to the right of the pitch and George Davy outran the defence to bring up Field’s bonus-point score.
Despite being well struck Blumlein’s conversion failed to trouble the posts, meaning the home side went into the break with a healthy 24-7 lead.
The second half was pretty much all Petersfield, but despite the home side scoring another five tries into the teeth of a howling gale their game still seemed to lack the effortless flow they’ve shown in previous encounters.
The game went to uncontested scrums with 15 minutes to go, which blunted one of Field’s more potent weapons.
The move provided the visitors with a stable platform at the set piece for the first time in the match.
It was from such a scrum Fordingbridge secured their second try, when a well-worked move saw them canter home from Field’s 22 for the score, which was unconverted.
However, it was Field who had the final word with a converted try with less than five minutes to go.
Field specialist coach Jim Pearce said: “It’s strange to feel despondent after a 55-12 win but that’s how we were as a squad after the match. I guess that shows how far we’ve come collectively and the standards we have set for ourselves.
“We never really got out of first gear against a side that Fordingbridge did well to put together after thinking that they would have to postpone, twice, during the week.”