Petersfield remain 14 points clear at the top of Hampshire Counties One after winning 29-14 at Eastleigh Pirates.

It took 15 minutes before any scoring chances threatened the whitewash. Field secured the ball from a combative ruck and following good interplay between Toby Colwood and Matt Momber the ball was off loaded to the supporting Alex Duffus to dot down for an unconverted try.

Eastleigh opened their account with a converted try from the restart following a combination of strong running, smart offloads and a few weak tackles by the visitors.

Petersfield regained the lead thanks through their second try of the afternoon. Karter Whittock deftly passed to Liam Perkins, who offloaded in the tackle to left winger Miles Sampson. Sampson crossed the try line from 20 metres out, rounding the defence before touching down just to the left of the posts for a converted try.

Petersfield then won a penalty lineout 15 metres out. Franco Tomic secured the ball and Nic Wilde controlled it in a lose scrum until he was forced to the ground. The ball was recycled through Tom Potter and Sam Brown, and Wilde carried the ball over the line with Potter and Brown giving weight and power to his momentum. Blumlein’s conversion made it 19-7.

Duffus was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes, and Joe Knowles was sent to the sin bin before half-time but Field led 19-7 at the break.

Six minutes into the second half the referee went down injured and his pitchside advisor replaced him.

Before Petersfield could be restored to 15 players Toby Colwood received a yellow card, but Field held out with 13 players for five minutes.

Dan Luff was replaced by Harley Orr, with Zak Jenkins replacing Karter Whittock.

Eastleigh advanced into Petersfield’s half and released their speedy and evasive back three, who combined to break through the defence to score a converted try.

From the restart a poorly Matt McLean joined the centres to add some penetration and experience and immediately took the ball forward.

He hacked through the first defender and kicked again for the ball to bound towards the try line, with McLean in pursuit to dive on the ball to score a converted try to make it 26-14 to the visitors.

Petersfield’s defence held firm in the final ten minutes, while Eastleigh’s penalty count mounted until they succumbed to a penalty 20 metres out in front of the posts. Blumlein converted to make the final score 29-14 and secure another five-point victory for Field.

Chris Todd