Petersfield’s first team continued their excellent form with a convincing 59-12 win at Alton.
The scheduled league fixture will feature in the Hampshire Counties One table as an away walkover for Petersfield because of Alton’s difficulty in fulfilling three first team away fixtures already this season.
In a spirit of co-operation and to keep momentum in the squad Petersfield played the fixture as a friendly.
Petersfield’s senior management selected two squads which mixed and matched regular first and second team players to visit Alton and Bognor’s second team – who like Petersfield were without a second team league fixture.
Travelling to Alton were first team regulars Sam Brown, Harley Orr, Franco Tomic, Ryan Morse, Jake Bosher, Alex Duffus, Will Mathews, Ethan Ogilvie, Jordan Allan, George Davis and Sam Dawes. They were strengthened by Will Cross, James Barden, Ben Thomas, Charlie Muir, Jamie Hobbs and A Newman.
In the first half Alton crossed the tryline through an intercepted pass to score an unconverted try. Petersfield were generally more confident and well-drilled and scored four converted tries to lead 28-5. Petersfield’s tries were scored by Duffus, Allan, Orr and Dawes. Mathews added the conversions.
Petersfield’s pack were particularly impressive. When Tomic was replaced after six minutes because of a dislocated finger requiring hospital treatment, Hobbs stepped up to play a tireless and disruptive role in the pack.
Alton were dogged in attack and defence and Field had their work cut out to prevent them increasing their score.
Petersfield had the potential advantage of playing down the Alton slope in the second half. Full back Dawes registered a hat-trick – all run in with speed and determination from outside the 22 as he weaved and sidestepped the defence while focused on the tryline. Mathews also scored a try and added another three conversions to bring his points total for the match to 19.
Alton scored a converted try in the second half, but Field ran out comfortable winners.
The Alton support were pleased the fixture went ahead and that their team had given a good account of themselves having lost 102-0 at Penns Place in September.
Petersfield’s team at Bognor featured second team regulars Mark Butcher, Jorge Villalon, Chris Brooker, Harry McGarr, Tommy Allen, Joe Potter, Andy Barnes, Monty Newton, Will Pritchard and Tim Jones. They were joined by Jamie Williams, Dan Luff, Jack McCulloch, Zak Jenkins, Nick Blumlein, Miles Sampson and Tom Land.
Field slipped to a narrow 12-7 defeat, although the visitors did have a late try disallowed by the referee.
Petersfield’s senior players now take a well-earned break over the festive season – although the annual Boxing Day match for the Andy Millar Cup (11.30am) will take place. Players returning to the district for the festive season will form a squad to meet volunteers from this season’s home senior squad.
League action returns to Penns Place on Saturday, January 6 when Field’s first team host second-placed Andover.