Eastleigh’s power pack

Romsey Advertiser: Eastleigh's John Weatherall. Eastleigh's John Weatherall.

 Eastleigh defeated fellow Hampshire side New Milton & District to strengthen their grip on third place in London 3 South-West.

The victory gives Eastleigh a six-point advantage over Ellingham & Ringwood who now have two games in hand after their away game at rock-bottom Camberley was called off.

Eastleigh dominated just about every department against Milton but it was the forwards who really shone in the one-sided affair.

Four of their six tries came from Number 8 John Weatherall – two in each half.

The visitors were 15-5 up at the break after Adam Gallagher had slotted home a penalty and a conversion – Milton’s opportunist try came from Chris Conacher.

Eastleigh were reduced to 14 players ten minutes into the second half when Martin Kirby was red carded for kicking an opponent at the breakdown.

However, New Milton knew what was coming from the reorganised Eastleigh outfit who were awarded a five metre scrum. The Milton pack wheeled and collapsed to concede a penalty try.

It was then 14 versus 14 for ten minutes when a New Milton player received a yellow card.

Another excellent driving maul saw Weatherall get this third and his fourth followed from another driving maul.

After being on the receiving end for much of the game two of Milton’s front row were injured and the contest went to uncontested scrums.

Shortly after Gallagher broke through and, taking on three New Milton players, scored close to the posts and made the conversion.

With Eastleigh tiring, having played the majority of the second half with 14 men and the scrum dominance nullified, New Milton were able to strike back twice – one from Ryan Morrell and the last from Ali Neal on the whistle.

Eastleigh head coach Andy Boyes said: “This was one of our best performances of the season. We dominated New Milton in all areas of the game.

“It was really pleasing that even though we were reduced to 14 men we were able to score four tries in the second half. With a little more control and vision we would have scored a few more.

“The forwards were dominant, the backs ran good lines and our defence was excellent.

“I would also like to welcome back flanker Richard O’Donnell after a year’s absence following a broken ankle.”

Eastleigh’s Pipestock man of match was number 8 John Weatherall, while Ali Neal shone for the home side.

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