London 2 South-West

EASTLEIGH tasted victory for the first time since the opening day of the season with a gutsy home win over Andover.

The much-needed 25-13 success against the All Blacks was put down to ‘heart and passion’ throughout the hotly-contested 80 minutes.

The heavyweight Andover pack worked well in the early stages and the visitors went 10-3 up when their winger was fed from a five metre scrum, following a penalty for both sides. Eastleigh’s Phil Baldwin kept his side in the game with another two penalties to get to within a point of Andover at the break.

And Baldwin’s boot continued to play a major part in the opening stages of the second half as Eastleigh began to pile on the pressure.

The fly-half put his side in front for the first time with a penalty kick and then successfully repeated the task to cancel out an Andover penalty.

He guided the ball between the posts once more to give Eastleigh a five-point advantage but it was a a try from Charlie Boyes, after Pete Noonan had broken through the defence, that secured the game for Eastleigh. Baldwin did have final say though, adding the two extra points to bring his personal tally to 20.

Eastleigh coach Phil Osman said: “We finally managed to secure the result to match the heart and endeavour that we have put into recent performances.

“We made quite a specific tactical change this week in preparation for the game. It is all well aspiring to play a certain way but if you are not winning you need to make a change, we did and it worked.

“There is no question that we were the better side. I was very pleased for the players.”

Injury-hit Winchester lost 36-11 at home to London Exiles but young players in the side will have learned a lot from the defeat.

Winch dominated much of the first half but failed to turn possession into points – something their opponents did to good effect to win the game.

Winchester took the option of kicking for position as the Exiles racked up the penalties and had a succession of players yellow carded but they could not manage to break through the visitors’ defence.

Exiles ran in four tries for their bonus point victory, with Archie Dandy crossing the line for Winchester and Charlie Preston kicking a couple of penalties.

Winchester player/coach Gareth Martin, side-lined after 30 minutes, had been part of a forward pack that had imposed themselves on the opposition in the opening stages.

He said: “We had dominated but were unable to capitalise with tries that we should have scored. Our thought was, they were a man down in the scrum, we were pushing them back. Then you simply have to score, which is what we didn’t do. That will come with time.”

It was always going to be a tough call for Gosport & Fareham as they welcomed SW2 leaders Camberley to Gosport Park.

The Surrey side won 55-19 with fullback Rory Penfold getting two tries for the home side and Wayne Dugan going over once.