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Gibbs on target for Andover Thirds
1:10pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in Andover
Fawley II 17 Andover III 23.
Andover III travelled for their rearranged match knowing the home side would be bolstered by their first team.
From the start Andover knew they were in a game, as their strong pack which normally dominates games was under pressure from the kick- off. However, excellent tactical kicking and strong running from the midfield of Rogers, Bone and Gibbs put the home side under sustained pressure which resulted in an early Gibbs penalty. Andover then went through a period of dominance and the pack started to function. A series of driving mauls saw them camped on the Fawley 22 and from a scrum on the five metre line the pack drove the opposition backwards before the Fawley pack broke up and they were allowed to illegally steal the ball and touch it down for a drop out 22.
Andover kept up the pressure which quickly resulted in another Gibbs penalty before the home team introduced some replacement to bolster the forwards and the game became much closer. Against the run of play Fawley broke away to score in the corner and the half ended with Andover leading 6-5. Half-time saw Fawley bring on yet more substitutes and soon the replacement number eight broke from the back of the scrum and ran in a try.
Fawley upped the pressure once again bringing two replacement Fijians into the back line which changed the shape of the game. Excellent tackling in the whole Andover team held them out until they found a gap and scored their third try which was converted. This only served to galvanise Andover and they showed the fighting spirit the club are renowned for. The forwards redoubled their efforts and after a series of strong runs from Worle, Ash and Butcher, Snook out on the wing had a clear run to the line and Gibbs converted the try. With less than four minutes on the clock Snook took the ball in midfield and strong running saw him crash through the Fawley defence untouched to score. Gibbs converted to give Andover an 18-17 lead with two minutes to go. Fawley tried to up the pressure however Rogers intercepted to run 50 yards unopposed to score. This was one of the hardest games of the season for tAndover III, but they with strong leadership and discipline proved themselves once again to be a formidable side.
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