With no first team game this weekend, Romsey took advantage to let their social side take to the field allowing newer members of the squad to gain valuable game time alongside some more elderly statesmen of the club with some assistance from local rivals Millbrook and Fawley in an entertaining game against an experienced Petersfield 3rd team.

With the opening kick-off not going the required 10m and the visitor’s bulky pack too eager to drive the first scrum, Nick Creal took a quick tap on half way and set off on a mazy run linking up with Simon Garraway. The back row duo exchanged several passes before Garraway dived over under the posts.

Petersfield then began to assert their forwards on the play and made several thrusts into the Romsey half and this paid off when they scored two unconverted tries to take a 5-10 lead. A rumbustious surge through the middle from the newcomer Dan Mlinciks allowed the ball to be swiftly transferred down the back line to Baz Newman who tiptoed down the touch line before being held up short of the line where the visitors infringed at the breakdown. From the resulting penalty the delicate Darran Hall took advantage of the lack of a TMO at Ganger Farm to score a try that some observers from the east of the county may argue he lost in the act of going down. The visitors then retook the lead after their surprisingly good and fit centre/backrow player weaved his way through for a converted try.

With Steve Reeves replacing an injured Fawley man to make his club debut at the youthful age of 48 having been cajoled in the clubhouse on Thursday night looking every bit to the manor born and with the club chair, John Gray finding the venerable Jamie Glanville with unerring one handed accuracy in the lineouts, Romsey moved the ball wide to the Oli Wise, who sliced through the opposition line only to be the recipient of a high tackle for the second week running with the line beckoning. From the tap penalty a lurking Creal gave a sublime quick pass to Tyler Beardsley who thundered over for his first ever Romsey try which was converted to make the score 17-17 at half time.

With the firm ground despite the week of rain taking its effect on the Fawley guests, Ryan Walker entered the fray for his senior debut and immediately started tackling anything that came his way and producing a turnover that allowed Chad Marshall from Millbrook to slide over to score a try that he converted to give the home team the lead 22-17.

There then followed a rather scrappy period of play as both sides thought the forwards needed to do more scrummaging much to the annoyance of a few of the older members who were hoping for a quick 10 minutes but ended up having to do the full 80. On 70 minutes another excellent burst from Beardsley was supported by the Oli Glanville who’s burst for the line was ended by a rather higher than legal tackle and a penalty was awarded. A kick at goal was opted for to try and extend the lead to eight points by a violent gust of wind deflected the ball off line at the crucial moment.

With bodies now at exhaustion Petersfield attacked again in earnest and in the dying moments broke Romsey hearts with a converted try to give them a 22-24 as the clock went red. A devious piece of calling allowed Romsey a final opportunity as Jack Murrant chased a booming kick and regathered the ball with the line at his mercy only for a magnificent cover tackle to come in and roll him over and prevent him from getting the winning try leaving the visitors victorious.