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Brown treble fires Fordingbridge
Fordingbridge managed to keep a light grip on Snows Group Hampshire 1 as changes continued in the leading pack.
Bridge followed up their earlier victory over Andover with a 60-10 home win against Overton.
Andover’s game at Bognor was rained off so Millbrook seized the chance to move up to second with a 32-24 victory over Farnborough at Five Acres.
Team Solent, who set the pace in Hampshire 1 for much of the early part of the season, lost out at home to US Portsmouth who put themselves back in the promotion picture by moving up to third.
Although the 60-10 scoreline may suggest otherwise, ’Bridge did not have it all their own way against Overton.
Earlier in the season Overton had come so close to beating Fordingbridge and initially threatened to do the same again before the home side weathered the storm and went on to score ten tries.
Dan Brown, in irresistible form on the left wing, notched his third hat-trick of the season to bring his tally of tries to 21 while number 8, Rob Hay, back to his best after injury, also touched down three times.
Other tries came from veteran prop Dave Timms, teenage flanker Paddy Gogin and two from Dee Stone. Mat Norton converted five.
Team Solent will be disappointed with a few first half mistakes that gifted US Pompey two interception tries in what was a close encounter at Test Park.
The students opened the scoring with two converted penalties from the boot of fly half Rob Walters, but US Portsmouth pounced on loose balls twice within ten minutes. Although it was the students piling on the pressure for the majority of the first half they again found themselves back under their own posts after a third try of the half from US.
The home side did manage to score one try before the half-time whistle with centre Andrew Taylor crashing over and Walters adding the conversion and a further penalty.
The second half was closely fought with both packs matching each other blow for blow and scoring a try apiece.
Team Solent pressured the visitors right to the end but US managed to defend well and claimed all the points which sees them very much back in the leading pack.
Spectator and Hampshire RFU president Ian Kerr said: “Both sides went out on to the pitch wanting to win. The students had much more of the pressure in both halves and with the amount of possession they had should have won.”
Millbrook struggled to field a full strength squad through a number of unavailabilities, with centre Mark Colmer offering his services at second row.
Star performer, fly half Rich Colmer, put the home side in the driving seat with two tries in the opening 20 minutes, converting both himself.
Farnborough settled and found some gaps in the Millbrook defence to score two tries of their own before a penalty put them 17-14 ahead.
Millbrook then turned up the pace. Two quick-fire tries from fine interlinking play saw captain Mike Randell go over twice. With Colmer adding a conversion and a penalty Brook led 29-17 at the interval.
Farnborough scored another try after the break but that signalled the end of their involvement on the scoreboard.
Brook only managed a second half penalty but were in control over the last 40 minutes.
Captain Mike Randell said: “We put in a mature performance today, showing our capability to adapt against different opposition and to close out the game.”
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