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Match Report: Romsey v Eastleigh 06.04.2024

April 7, 2024

Match Report: Romsey v Eastleigh 06.04.2024

 Romsey lose 14-26
 Match report courtesy of Peter Jones

Frustrated Romsey suffer end of season blow

Romsey 14 : 26 Eastleigh

A bright and distinctly breezy afternoon at Ganger Farm was the scene for Romsey’s final League game of the 2023-24 season. 

Initial Eastleigh pressure on the Romsey line was relieved by a crunching hit by Caine Latham and the resulting kick downwind had the visitors back-pedalling. Skipper Latham crashed over for a try and Jim Lamont’s shiny new boots kicked the conversion to put the home side 7-0 up. Eastleigh quickly hit back with a try by their fullback who outstripped the Romsey defence to level the scores. The pace of the game was unrelenting, and an effective catch and drive by the Romsey forwards set up a close range try for the tireless Will Latham.

Romsey were determined to keep up the tempo and a smart tap penalty drew a yellow card for an Eastleigh forward. Just when it looked as though the home side was building pressure, Eastleigh hit back with a series of determined attacks and a try sent both teams into the halftime huddle at 14-14.

With the strong breeze stiffening at their backs the visitors were always in the driving seat in the second half. Latham’s side responded to this challenge with a wave of attacks against the wind. Strong Eastleigh defence kept Romsey at bay, and the wind carried a relieving kick well away from their line. Romsey were soon back, however. A scything break by the skipper in the midfield put play back under the visitors’ posts. A period of concerted pressure suggested that a home score score was inevitable, but an attempted miss pass to winger Ollie Soundy resulted in the opposition winger scooping the ball up and skipping away from the defensive cover to make the score 14-19.

This proved to be the game’s turning point. A yellow card for Jim Lamont left the Romsey defensive line exposed and Eastleigh ran in a simple try in the corner. With the clock ticking down the visitors were happy to keep the ball in the tight and use the wind to frustrate the home team. A red card at the death for forward Brad Piper was born of this frustration, and was a sour note to end a season that had given players, coaches and spectators some excellent entertaining rugby. This young squad can look forward to next season with some confidence.