Alton Silverbacks lost 81-21 against Andover at Anstey Park in Hampshire Counties One, although the final score did not truly reflect the effort put in by the home team for long periods of the game.

Andover were a very well-drilled side – at most breakdowns they had at least two players in close support of the ball carriers.

The visitors scored their first converted try within 90 seconds of the kick-off. Alton then gave away a penalty, and by the time 30 minutes had passed the visitors had run in four more tries – converting two of them to lead 34-0.

At this point Alton came into the game and forced their way into Andover’s half and were awarded a scrum. From the resultant put-in they launched a good attack but were penalised for holding on in the tackle just short of the line. Following a deep kick into their half, Andover worked the ball some 70 metres and scored another converted try under the posts.

Just before half-time Alton got their just rewards when an excellent passing move was finished below the posts for a converted try.

The hosts scored under the posts eight minutes into the second half to make it 41-14.

Andover then ran in a further four tries, three of which were converted. Alton scored their third converted try under the posts, but Andover scored two further converted tries.

Alton spent the final ten minutes of the match looking for their fourth try to at least rescue a bonus point, but the Andover defence held firm.

Alton’s try scorers were Josh Law, Jez Powell and Cameron Wheatcroft. Lewis New converted all three.

Tom Mills