Farnham won the battle between London 3 South-West’s runaway leaders by beating second-placed KCS Old Boys – but Eastleigh are back in charge of third spot.
Eastleigh’s determination to blood some new players paid off when debutant replacements, back row Ruari Andrews and substitute winger Sam Prout, both had a big say in their side’s 20-3 victory over Old Mid-Whitgitian.
Ironically, Old Mids’ only score of the match, a simple penalty in windy conditions, put them ahead after just five minutes.
With constant pressure on the Old Mids backs, a loose pass was intercepted by Eastleigh captain Russ Smith who ran in from the halfway line to score under the posts. Adam Gallagher converted.
Eastleigh’s second try came when scrum half Sean Hayes broke and made good ground, passed to number 8 Ruary Andrews, who drove forward and offloaded to prop Paul Taylor who crossed the line.
Old Mids then gave away two penalties for collapsing the scrum and the ball was eventually thrown out wide for Prout to score in the corner.
Head coach Andy Boyes said: “We took the opportunity to give league debuts to number 8 Ruari Andrews and winger Sam Prout today. Both played well with Ruari involved in the second try and Sam scoring the third.
“It will make selection interesting this week as we have four first team players who were unavailable back for next weekend.”
Pipestock man of the match went to prop Dan Achilles.
Eastleigh’s victory leapfrogged them over Ellingham & Ringwood who lost out by a point at home to Old Wellingtonians.
Wellies won 23-22 but Ellingham did pick up two valuable points for being within seven points of their opponents and scoring four tries. They came from Charlie Cockram, full back Dominic Pitt (2) and winger Dan Stewart.
Pitt got his second try after switching to scrum half. It was converted by replacement Andy Weeks who went close to claiming the game for Ellingham with a last-kick-of-the-game penalty attempt that drifted wide.
Tommy Horn was named Es’ man of the match for his relentless tackling and workrate at the breakdown.