Fawley 68-28 IW
The Isle of Wight RFC’s 1st XV travelled to high flying Fawley looking to build on previous performances and determined to show no fear when taking on any team. However, a litany of players unavailable left the Islanders with something of a makeshift side, and against their title contending hosts, it seemed set to be a long afternoon.
From the start, the Island side showed heart as their aggressive defence led to Fawley coughing up the ball which was pounced on by Owain Hooper, who raced clear to score. Yet the Island’s initial enthusiasm was quickly dampened as Fawley responded in some style with two quickly taken tries, the home side taking advantage of the Islands disorganised defence. This proved to be the pattern of the game as any loose play by the Island was put to the sword by the strong running home side.
However, the Island trusted their patterns of play in previous games and this paid off before half time as strong driving play from the likes of Jayme Bishop, Andy Brown and BIFFA man of the match Joey Hughes led to a try from the industrious Ian Bennett. Fawley led 25-14 at halftime.
The second half saw Fawley open up a sizeable lead, but to their credit, the Island side never stopped playing. Luke Blackman scored next for the Island, giving them the chance of a try bonus. To the delight of the travelling support, the try bonus was delivered in some style right at the death. Lewis Murray crashed the ball in to the Fawley 22, closely supported by Bennett who took it to the line, only to be stopped by desperate defence, he then provided a miraculous offload to Blackman who dotted down for the try. Murray converted all four tries.
While well beaten, IW will take solace from garnering a bonus point in adverse circumstances, and will hope to profit from home comforts when they host Locks Heath Pumas on Saturday. The second team host Stoneham, with both kickoffs at 2.30 pm.