TWO well-matched sides locked horns in this mid-table Hampshire 1 clash at Wootton, with the visitors turning it into a nail-biter at the end for the Islanders as they clung on to their lead to win by a point.

Isle of Wight were punished early on with two penalties, which gave the Pumas a 6-0 lead.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight fly-half Lewis Murray carrying the ball against the Locksheath Pumas.

The Island’s pack stepped up and made inroads into the Locksheath half, with driving runs from Sam McQueen, Andy Brown and Callum Pudney.

The dynamic James Curran was a constant thorn in the Puma’s side, but mistakes made when in striking distance allowed the visitors’ line to stay solid through to half-time.

After the interval, it was the visitors who struck first with a try to extend their lead to 11-0.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Island's Grant Smith, with the ball, in action against the Locksheath Pumas at Wootton on Saturday.

But the IW took control for much of the rest of the game, continuing to drive at the heart of the Pumas defence.

Constant pressure at the scrum — with man-of-the-match, Martin Newnham, the focus — allowed them to advance further forward with the ball.

The Rangers were finally rewarded when Luke Blackman dotted down, following sustained pressure on the visitors’ line.

Then it was the turn of Andy Brown to crash over to give the Islanders a one point lead.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Andy Brown crashes over the line to put the Isle of Wight ahead against Locksheath Pumas.

With the bench of Ian Bennett, Kevin Blackburn and Connor Grant adding fresh legs, IW went for the jugular as the Pumas began to run out of steam.

The IW continued to dominate when Tom Marriott sold the defence a dummy as he sprinted over the try line to score.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Island's Tom Marriott celebrates after scoring the side's third try of the afternoon against Locksheath Pumas. 

The Islanders pushed hard for the bonus fourth try, but the Pumas' centre chanced his arm, intercepted an IW pass and sprinted under the posts and bring the visitors back to within a point to set up a tense finale for the home side.

The conversion points were added by Lewis Murray.

IW: Sweetman, Reed, Rann, L.Blackburn, Huish, Murray, Marriott, Blackman, Webster, Curran, Brown, Pudney, Newnham, McQueen, Smith. Subs: K.Blackburn, Bennett, Grant.