By Connor Steel
GOSPORT & FAREHAM RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB (GFRFC) returned to Union league action as they kept the pressure on Havant Seconds with a big win against Ellingham & Ringwood on Saturday afternoon (27/11), recording a 61-12 victory over their Southampton based opponents. This resounding scoreline featured nine tries for the visitors as they secured a bonus point win; made even more impressive by the weather conditions which included freezing temperatures and gusty winds.
Ellingham & Ringwood started brilliantly and did score an early unconverted try to make it 5-0, whilst Dominic Holling responded with a penalty to reduce the arrears after ten minutes down the other end. GFRFC however recovered and took the lead by the 25 minute mark with two quickfire tries to make it 13-5 despite two missed conversions, although the kicker did make it his third time lucky as he converted Toby Woodford’s try to make scores twenty points to five on thirty minutes.
The hosts did score their second try of the afternoon to make it 20-12 moments later following a scrum from the restart, being converted by the kicker at an angle despite his best efforts in very difficult conditions. But any hopes for a home comeback were soon over as GFRFC scored a further try before the interview, Ash Wakefield ploughing through the defence in additional time to make it 25-12 as Holling missed the follow-up kick in the final act before the interval with no restart allowed.
GFRFC’s dominance continued after the break as they added a fourth try, Ian Grice running over after an off-load down the left side and showing great feet; sealing a bonus point for the visitors. It was quickly followed up by Wakefield’s second try of the afternoon, which was converted by kicker Holling who further added a penalty kick minutes later to make it 47-12 with twenty five minutes to play. A spell of resistance then followed for the home side with defensive efforts with the game won.
This all changed with fifteen minutes left to play as a yellow card left Ellingham & Ringwood with 14 men and GFRFC capitalised with another try scored by Dominic Phillo, with the conversion scored by Holling. With two minutes left Wakefield sealed a hat-trick of tries by running through the defence and sliding int the corner, before Allardice got his third try in additional time by evading tackles and calmly tapping home. Both of these late tries were converted by Holling to seal the 61-13 final score.
The bonus point victory solidifies GFRFC’s second place position in the 2021-22 Hampshire Premier standigns after nine games, sitting just two points behind Havant Seconds. The team will now play at home versus Alresford this Saturday afternoon with a 2pm kick-off at Dolphin Park, before travelling to Fordingbridge next weekend (11/12). A home game then rounds off 2021 with the club not in action until mid-January following a three week break due to the Christmas and New Year festivities.
PICTURED BY TOMMY MCMILLAN: Gosport & Fareham ran in nine tries in their thumping win at Ellingham & Ringwood.