IN AN exciting match, Ventnor earned a vital victory in their bid to beat the drop from Counties 3 Hampshire.


Despite the soggy conditions, Ventnor continued to play their usual broad game, to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd at Watcombe Bottom on Saturday.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ventnor's Layton Greatorex in action against Eastleigh II.Ventnor's Layton Greatorex in action against Eastleigh II. (Image: Simon Dear)

However, the conditions also suited Eastleigh, with their impressive kicking game.

Ventnor’s first points on the board came from a penalty by Ed Blake. This seemed to release some stress, but the game soon turned into a stalemate.

Both teams displayed some steadfast defending, with the tackle count from both sides exceptional.

Ben Savill and Jason Coltham stood out for their determined efforts.

Eastleigh's attempts at gaining territorial advantage were halted by Joe Coghlan and Lewy Morton — their throws disrupting the opposition's line-outs.

On the brink of half-time, Eastleigh were awarded a penalty and they levelled the scores at 3-3.

As the game continued, Ventnor’s fitness started to pay off.

Lewis Jones returned to the field and Guy Entwistle shone, displaying a vigorous game off the back of the scrum.

Isle of Wight County Press: Lewy Morton in action for Ventnor.Lewy Morton in action for Ventnor. (Image: Simon Dear)

This eventually led to Ventnor’s first try of the day, scored by Josh Rettie, and successfully converted by Blake.

Further excellent work by the pack resulted in a second try, this time from Layton Greatorex.

Despite being a man down, due to a yellow card shown to Greatorex, Ventnor managed to thwart Eastleigh's efforts to make an instant comeback.

A heroic chase back and tackle from Andy Teague also stopped a fluid move by the Eastleigh team.

Sam Lines emerged to dance through for a terrific try, once again converted by Blake, putting Ventnor comfortably ahead.

Even though Eastleigh managed to score a consolation try, Ventnor finished the match strongly.

Entwistle's performance was rewarded with a deserved try.

After making the last conversion from far out, Ventnor earned the try bonus point, rounding off an excellent game despite the challenging conditions.

Ventnor remain second bottom, but have closed the gap on those above them.

Ventnor: Harrison, Collett, Savill (capt), Teague, Coltham, Coghlan, Morton, Entwistle, Souter, Rettie, Martin, Lines, Greatorex, Fairman, Blake. Replacements: Jones, Richardson, Cooper