By Connor Steel
GOSPORT & FAREHAM RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB (GFRFC) made it four straight wins in the Hampshire Premier League on Saturday afternoon, beating sixth place Alresford in a tight encounter held at Park Mount. Again it was Rob Ellis making the difference in spring-like sunshine as the visitors sealed their 13-3 win in a game that was dominated by defences of both teams throughout the 80 minutes.
In a match that kicked off at 2pm for the Six Nations encounter between England and Ireland, GFRFC started the better and scored the first points after six minutes; winning a penalty for offside that was easily converted by Callum Allardice in front of the posts. Moments later Ellis extended this lead with a fine touch out wide and muscled through the defence to score his first try, the conversion missed at an angle by the kicker with the occasional breeze hitting the ground..
After this early blitz of GFRFC pressure proceedings seemed to settle down with spells of possession for either side, with knock-ons and kicking ending attacking opportunities. Good defending from the hosts also denied a wave of sustained build-up play for GFRFC around the half hour mark, despite a yellow card shown to an Alresford player on 35 minutes as the away side let eight-nil at the interval.
It was a quiet start to the second half as both sides cancelled each other, although Alresford gained a route back into the game with a penalty on 51 minutes that was converted with relative ease by the kicker. But any hope of a comeback were dampened just sixty seconds later as GFRFC won a scrum in the 22-yard area that was collected by Ellis who made no mistake in crossing over with an outstretched dive for another try and five points to relax the away side’s nerves.
Again the conversion was missed by the kicker as the score remained 13-3, substitutions for either side and more scrums affecting the momentum. Therefore there was no further additions to the final score-line as GFRFC were denied a bonus point with just two points; the Alresford defence holding firm in the final moments despite tiring legs. But this also affected attacking efforts as they were unable to mount a comeback or seal a losing bonus point as the visitors sealed the much welcomed victory.
GFRFC remain second in the standings behind Havant IIs, with the leaders winning their 20th straight match and looking good for a perfect season. But for Mark Pollard’s side attention must turn to keeping Bognor in third place with just two games left; hosting Fordingbridge on March 26 before travelling to Locksheath Pumas on April 2 in their final match of the 2021-22 campaign.
PICTURED: Gosport and Fareham team who are now on a four game winning streak as they look to seal second spot ahead of in-form Bognor Regis with just two games left to play this season.