PETERSFIELD made it seven wins out of seven in Hampshire Counties One with a 39-20 victory at home to Eastleigh on Saturday which left them four points clear of next week’s opponents Havant II.
They held their annual tribute lunch before the game, remembering former player Ron Dark of Sheet and legendary club character and Petersfield Post reporter Jon Walker. This was followed by a minute’s silence for Armistice Day.
After three minutes, from a penalty lineout on Eastleigh’s five-metre line, hooker Nic Wilde pouched the ball and was bundled across the line to give Petersfield a 5-0 lead.
From the restart Petersfield crept offside on their 22 and Eastleigh kicked the penalty to take the score to 5-3.
Eight minutes in Petersfield left-wing Sam Dawes grubber-kicked through an advancing defence. Eastleigh fumbled and a nervous kick was taken by sprinting Petersfield full-back Tom Land. Land passed to the speedy Miles Sampson outside on the right and Sampson dotted down in the corner to put Petersfield 10-3 up.
After 15 minutes a Petersfield kick from hand was too long but the attempted catch by Eastleigh was knocked on behind their five-metre line. Petersfield scrum-half Ethan Ogilvie put the ball in, the hosts won the scrum and number eight Liam Perkins moved smartly left. Before Perkins was tackled mobile hooker Wilde left the scrum and received the ball five metres out to crash over under the posts for his second try, which Blumlein converted to make it 17-3.
From the restart Petersfield looked to pass right but a deliberate knock-on by Eastleigh gave them a yellow card and Petersfield a penalty lineout. The hosts won the ball but Eastleigh forced them to launch a long pass out to full-back Tom Land, who charged through to score their fourth and bonus point try to lead 22-3.
Eastleigh reached Petersfield’s 22 and at a maul the hosts were caught offside. Eastleigh took a penalty lineout, drove across the field and launched their racing full-back at the home defence. With a jinking run past two tackles he scored near the corner to make it 22-8 at half-time.
Five minutes after the break Petersfield prop Sam Brown broke out of a maul and touched down for a try converted by Nick Blumlein to make it 29-8.
Eastleigh used their pack for possession and forward momentum while their threatening backs disrupted Petersfield’s defence, which they breached for replacement Will Jones to score a try and cut the deficit to 29-13.
From a lineout steal Petersfield passed back out of the visitors’ 22 but the pass went to ground. Petersfield infringed and Eastleigh took a quick tap penalty which let Will Jones break through for a converted try that closed the gap to 29-20.
In the last quarter Petersfield won a defensive scrum and Alex Duffus and Jack McCullock worked the ball out right. A toe punt through Eastleigh’s defence looked like a chance for Eastleigh to play out of their in goal area but Wilde captured the ball and offloaded to Liam Perkins whose try made it 34-20.
As full-time approached Petersfield had a penalty lineout 15 metres out. The ball was taken cleanly by Franco Tomic and in the maul it was smuggled to hooker Sam Brown for his second try of the match.