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Tottonians keep pressure on in promotion battle
No ground was conceded in the race for the London 2 South-West finish line at weekend, all three leading contenders collecting five-point victories.
Leaders Gosport & Fareham kept their three-point cushion while chasing Guildford made sure they stayed in touch and Tottonians, the only club putting pressure on the top two, also recorded a healthy win.
High-flying Gosport ran in five tries to get their 29-0 win at rock bottom Teddington.
Gos gave debuts to full back Nathan Walton, wing Shaun Taylor and Dan Turner who started on the bench.
Tries from Chris Thompson, Gareth Jones and a two from Joey Clark gave them an early 24-0 lead and netted them the bonus point, but Teddington made them work for their only second half score from Sam Foster.
Guildford’s win was more emphatic – a 69-10 home success over third-from-bottom Portsmouth.
With the half-way stage of the season approaching, Tottonians are just nine points adrift of Guildford – fourth-placed Trojans are back another ten points.
Totts defeated Weybridge Vandals 35-12 in an “entertaining game against stubborn opponents, lit up by some well crafted tries”.
The Water Lane team were 17-0 up at half time through two Richard Buck tries – the centre being fed by fly-half Robbie Searle and wing Faisal Mutati. The other points came from Robbie Searle’s boot.
Visitors Vandals began to dominate the scrum after the break and were rewarded with a try after an infringement from Totts and a catch-and-drive from a line-out.
But it was not long before captain Mike Searle intercepted a Weybridge pass and off-loaded to Dan Taylor, who went over.
Totts’ bonus point try came from Scott Rogers – Buck the provider.
Vandals had the final say to touch down from a three-man overlap but, with an extra five points from Robbie Searle’s boot, the game was secure at 35-12.
Winchester quickly built up a 26-0 lead over London Cornish at North Walls Park.
Man of the match Nick Fielding raced 60 metres to score the opening try after three minutes but teammate Matt Burt added 20 metres to that distance when he sprinted from his own 22 shortly after.
Open side flanker Alex Day crashed over before Matt Lown charged down a clearance kick and dropped on the ball for Winchester’s bonus point try.
Alleynians hit back with a try before the break and then got to within a score of the home side with a couple of penalties, a try and conversion.
They could have taken that lead but for a try-saving tackle from Australian Nick Fielding, who shortly after crossed the line to sew up the game at 26-20 with his second touchdown.
Trojans picked up a couple of points at Old Alleynians in a see-saw match that saw the lead change hands six times in the first half.
Johnny Gray’s interception try got the ball rolling for Trojans and Alex Williams also went over. Emilien Cabale kicked five points but his side trailed 18-15 at the break.
In the second half Cabale picked up a drop-out ball and scythed his way through OA’s defence to score and convert. Trojans seemed to be taking more control of the game and the forwards pushed over the line for Chris Lynch to touch down.
With 20 minutes to go and a nine-point lead, things were looking good for Trojans but, despite a number of attacks, it was OAs who added to the scoreboard with a goal, a penalty and a try to win 33-29.
Trojans’ two points moved them up the table one place.
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