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Baldwin kicks Eastleigh to opening day victory
Eastleigh started their London 3SW campaign with an exciting 31-13 win – defeating Purley John Fisher after being down at half time.
With several injuries and players not available, the home side put their strong squad to good use against the club that finished third last season.
However, despite having the lion’s share of possession, Eastleigh were 13-9 down at the break with all of their points coming from the boot of fly half Philip Baldwin.
Fitness showed in the second half as Eastleigh grabbed three chances – and missed a handful of others.
Two of the tries came from Ash Holland and one from captain Russell Smith, with Baldwin converting two of them and named man of the match.
Other outstanding performances came from John Wetherall and Stu Mason, with Ian Stott making his first team debut.
New Milton & District found the going tough in their first season out of the Hampshire Leagues.
Neighbours Ellingham & Ringwood blitzed the home side with three tries in the first 15 minutes before going on to touch down another six times with Milton replying twice.
Ellingham eventually won the local derby 57-12 – Oli Grant, Dan Stewart, Andy Turner and Ross Whale scored two tries each and captain Duncan Soden also touched down. Charlie Cockram kicked six conversions.
Jamie Poole got the ball over the line for New Milton in the first half and Adam Lavis converted before claiming the club’s second try after the break.
Ellingham & Ringwood’s player coach Phil Osman said: “This was a great start, but we mustn’t get carried away. I was impressed at the way our forwards were able to dominate the game and with new signings Oli Grant and Tommy Horn from Havant and Joe Tarrant from Bournemouth.”
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