By Connor Steel
IRREPRESSIBLE Gosport & Fareham Rugby Club bounced back into form following their Hallowe’en weekend defeat at the hands of Havant IIs, beating New Milton & District 38-0 at home on Saturday afternoon.
The result not only meant a bonus point for try-scoring but also saw GFRFC keep a clean sheet in defence – their fifth such achievement from just eight Hampshire Premier matches this campaign.
It was a cagey opening for both sides at Gosport Park as a series of scrums and defensive work by the visitors prevented any attacking opportunities. This all changed in the 12th minute when New Milton had a player sin-binned for a high tackle, with the hosts taking advantage moments later as Daniel O’Donoghue scored the first try of the afternoon following a good off-load down the right wing. Dominic Holling converted an easy conversion to give GFRFC a seven-point lead.
The advantage was doubled just after the 20-minute mark when Toby Woodford piled over the try-line under the post after running through the visiting posts. The conversion went over for an extra two points at 14-0. Kicker O’Donoghue made it three from three in the final moments of the first half after player-coach Tim Snowden scored another try to make it 21-0 to GFRFC as the referee blew for half time after a spell of away possession.
Home tactics seemed to change at the interval as they sought to protect their clean sheet, with substitutions for both sides interrupting momentum on the hour mark. But GFRFC weren’t done and sealed another bonus point victory with their fourth try. Alex Jones was the scorer as he collected a long ball out of the air and advanced down the wing beating two defenders to tap in for 26-0, the kicker ending another two points from his conversion.
With the game won and visiting legs tiring, Gos scored two further tries to add gloss to their victory point margins. Iain Grice piled through the defence on 72 minutes, collected a pass and advanced forward, with O’Donoghue breaking his 100 percent kicking success rate when he missed the following penalty. He also failed to convert a final sixth try for the hosts as Snowden scored his second of the afternoon in bonus time, the game finishing 38-0 immediately after.
GFRFC now sit second in the Hampshire Premier Rugby League (London & SE Division) after eight games with seven wins and one defeats, which saw a late loss to Havant IIs two weeks before. No matches are scheduled for next weekend with Gosport & Fareham travelling away to Ellingham & Ringwood on November 27, the kick off starting at 2:30pm in Southampton.
PICTURED BY ROGER SMITH: Players run for the try-line after breaching defensive lines