ANDOVER 14 – London Cornish 41
A much improved performance wasn’t enough for Oakwoods sponsored Andover, as they slipped into the relegation zone after defeat at the hands of runaway league leaders London Cornish at Foxcotte park last Saturday .
With nearest rivals Effingham and Leatherhead again winning things are looking bleak for the ‘All Blacks.’
The final score flattered the visitors somewhat as Andover really took the game to them throughout, but in the end it was the clinical finishing of Cornish that was the difference as Andover failed to make huge amounts of possession pay.
The game began disastrously for Andover as from the first kick off Cornish ran the ball the length of the park to score a converted try and it looked like it would be a long difficult afternoon.
Andover responded well though and soon launched a series of attacks through the powerful running of Tom Waite and Tom Erskine.
With scrum and Lineout dominant Andover had plenty of ball and Cornish were forced to offend time and again to keep them out. Andover missed two kicking chances and before long were made to pay as Cornish broke free from the shackles to score another converted try.
Andover once again roared back, but despite several penalties under the posts the referee did not produce the obvious yellow card and Cornish survived again.
The visitors then added a penalty of their own before at last Andover got some reward.
The mighty front row of skipper Alex Hibdidge, Tom Waite and James Monck ripped into their opponents and after several short scrum penalties the referee awarded Andover a penalty try converted by charlie Waite.
After the break with slope in favour Andover had high hopes but they didn’t heed the warning of the first half, conceding again from the first play after a disastrous mix up in midfield.
Andover again responded and from the pressure a red card should have been produced for Cornish, after Simon Preece was brutally taken out of the air at a lineout.
The official decided only yellow however and once again the visitors were very fortunate.
Andover pulled a try back soon after through Luke Linssner’s power after a series of rucks, converted by Charlie Waite and Andover seemed back in it.
Andover continued to press but once again Cornish clinically took control.
Another midfield break saw them score to increase their lead and as Andover tried to play catch up, they struck twice more in the last few minutes to pull out of sight.
After the game Director of rugby Andy Waite reflected, “When you’re down the bottom and fighting as hard as the boys did today you need some luck, but decisions definitely did not go our way.
“The red card should have been shown for a very dangerous piece of play and against fourteen you never know what would have happened. As it was Simon Preece was not too badly injured, but we lost him for the rest of the match and they benefited.
“On the positive side he played much better today and in all honesty if we can produce more of that we may yet get to safety. It was great to see Matt Moore back in the first team fold and I thought Johnny Rogers was very good at stand off and Fin Waite really impressed coming off the bench at seven.”
Report from Andover Rugby Club website