The battle at the top of Snows Group Hampshire 1 is taking shape following Millbrook’s victory over Fordingbridge.

The 39-22 win put Brook back in second place - behind leaders US Portsmouth and above third-placed Bognor.

It also means Fordingbridge are now 11 points adrift of a top three spot, but they did play their part in a bruising 80 minutes at Five Acres.

The game started with a high intensity from both sides and continued as a very physical encounter throughout.

Brook opened the scoring when centre Mike Thomas scooped up a loose ball to race in and score. With Rich Colmer adding the conversion and two penalties, Brook moved on to 13-0.

Colmer crossed the whitewash himself and converted to put Brook firmly in the driving seat at the interval.

The second half continued with the same high standard shown by both sides, but it was Fordingbridge who battled back and registered two tries to bring the score back to 20-12.

Brook regained their composure and got the ball over the line twice – Thomas and Colmer both adding to their first half tries.

Bridge refused to give in and added another five points to their tally - that, though, was quickly cancelled out as prop Donovan Richards got the ball down for Brook.

Fordingbridge’s determination earned them a point with a fourth try in the closing stages.

Millbrook coach Mark Randall said: “We played some great rugby at times and Fordingbridge are a dangerous side.

"We know we still have to keep working hard and improving as a team if we are to win the league.”

Brook named Tom Colling as their man of the match.

US Portsmouth stay top after winning 29-12 at Sandown & Shanklin while Bognor were without a match.

Ellingham and Ringwood had to make do with a single bonus point after racing ahead at Overton.

The Es were 17-0 up with tries from inside centre Archie Cockayne and fly half Charlie Cockram, with Josh Butcher making two conversions and a penalty.

Butcher struck another penalty after the break, but a great fightback from the hosts brought them level before they claimed the game with a late penalty.

Ellingham & Ringwood’s women’s side extended their lead at the top of National Challenge Division1 South West when they trounced second-placed Topsham 50-24 at the Raymond Brown Memorial Ground.

Ellingham tries came from scrum half Rosie Tugwell (2), prop Sam Nichols, fullback Chloe Barrett, centre Maggie Hishon and a hat-trick from prop forward Chantelle McClure.