Farnham Rugby Club slipped to a 42-27 defeat at home to Tottonians in Regional Two South Central.

Farnham welcomed Tottonians to Monkton Lane looking to build on their win against Wimbourne.

Farnham drafted in the experience of Ben Adams and Gabe Hills, and Ollie Brown celebrated his 200th appearance for the club. Tottonians kicked off with the breeze behind them for the first 40 minutes. They started the game well and dominated possession through their powerful pack and patient attack. An early penalty in front of the posts allowed the visitors to take a 3-0 lead.

Farnham reacted well and almost responded immediately when Reece Stennett made good yards to get Farnham in behind but the ball was moved to the other side where Hills broke down the right but was just held short.

Farnham kept Tottonians in their own 22 and won a penalty to kick to the corner. The rolling maul was stopped but the ball was recycled well and Sam Woodhams managed to dive over from close range for Farnham’s first score. The conversion was missed but Farnham led 5-3.

Tottonians hit back almost immediately with a well-executed backs play that saw the left winger finish off well in the corner to make it 8-5.

Farnham were creating chances and Toby Salmon almost scored in the right corner before being bundled into touch. A few offloads and passes didn’t quite go to hand and the score remained 8-5 at half-time.

Tottonians’ patient attack eventually broke down Farnham and they scored within minutes of the second half when their scrum half dotted down to make it 13-5.

Farnham struggled to get into the second half with their attack not as slick as usual.

A powerful Tottonians scrum gave them forward momentum and they looked to move the ball wide. Toby Salmon intercepted a Tottonians pass to run in under the posts from 50 metres out and get Farnham back in the game. The successful conversion made it 13-12.

The restart was gathered by Ben Jones who kicked long but was hit late by the rushing defence. No card was given and Jones was left with a dislocated shoulder. Jonny Vincent came into the backline. Farnham were awarded a penalty where the ball landed and opted to go for the posts with the penalty clipping the post and going over to put the hosts 15-13 ahead.

The lead did not last long with Tottonians awarded a penalty in front of the posts and the visitors led 16-15.

Farnham’s bodies continued to drop with Fin Sloan dislocating his shoulder and Hills hobbling around with an injured knee. This meant various players were out of position and Tottonians used that to their advantage to break down the right-hand side before offloading to the hooker to score their next try. The conversion made it 23-15.

Penalties started costing Farnham field position with Tottonians kicking to the corner. The rolling maul was effective and was slowly creeping towards the line but was judged to be stopped illegally and a penalty try was given as well as a yellow card to Jemi Akin-Olugbade.

Farnham were starting to tire but did manage the sin bin period well. Fin Basil won Farnham a penalty, which they kicked to the corner.

The first rolling maul was stopped, however the second was well drilled with Vincent diving over in the corner. The conversion made it 30-22.

Farnham continued to make tackles but were eventually broken down when the Tottonians winger broke through to score his second try of the game. The successful conversion made it 37-22.

Tottonians broke from kick off with their loose forwards combining well before being stopped short of the line.

With the Farnham defence in disarray, the Tottonians second row powered over for the game-clinching score. The conversion was missed.

Farnham were now chasing a try bonus point and thought they had it when Dan Sweeney dived over from a rolling maul, but he was judged to be held up.

Farnham kept going though and Harry West found Salmon who stepped through the defence and avoided the cover defence to touch down in the corner. The conversion was missed but Farnham managed to get something out of the game.

Farnham will travel to Chichester on Saturday, March 2.