Sunshine and a beautifully prepared pitch by our grounds manager James Blake greeted a large crowd to Watcombe where Ventnor’s 1st XV triumphed over a highly competitive Andover 2nd XV in our first home game of this campaign. Tries from Ben Savill, Jake Babington, Cory Turner and Ben Cooper plus two conversions from Coops secured the victory and a welcome bonus point. Jason Coltham was deservedly named the A J Wells man of the match whilst Joe Coghlan took the Red Funnel Moment of the Match award. Sam Lines received special mention in the opposition captain’s speech.
This was the first time we’d played a game with a female referee and Daniela Rivera-Marin’s performance added to the occasion. She was happy to be addressed as ‘sir’ during the match which no doubt was a relief to Jewy in a potentially tricky area of ‘wokiness’! Many thanks to Jewy and Ben Savill for sorting a shower in the referee’s room at the club.
The first Vice Presidents’ lunch was well attended and the catering provided by Sally Cooper and her team at The Bistro at London House in Ventnor was – as ever – excellent. Many thanks to our president “The Rev” Warren Riches for hosting this and for providing another excellent raffle which he and Billy-Bob Engelgardt handled with their usual aplomb (Mickey Buttle, you left your books behind!).
Also many thanks to Ventnor’s Mayor Steve Cooper for attending and for giving such an encouraging speech. It was good to see a number of our match sponsors at the lunch, namely: Steve Champion, Rog Evans, Steve Cooper representing Ventnor Town Council, Cat Jones from The Flower Garden in Newport and Warren Whitmore representing The Island Echo. Many thanks for your support as well as our other sponsors for the day, A J Wells, A Repoint (Foxie), No 64 in Ryde, Lesley Hall and Wightwater (Scotty).
As always after such a busy day, there are plenty of people to thank:
Rog Evans for his help putting on the VPs’ lunch.
Nancy and George Finan for their work in the kitchen.
Roly and Steve for firing up the bar.
Andy Wall for taking time to explain the benefits of the Easyfundraising scheme and to Liz Simpson for providing the leaflets. Click on this
link to join http://efraising.org/pvq092wGbK
Steph Courtney for providing the excellent post-match food for the players.
Deano and Charlie for taking over the bar duties and putting in such a shift.
Meanwhile – on the football pitch – Ventnor took Newchurch Reserves to the cleaners in a 7 -1 victory in the IoW Combination Two league with goals from Carl Moody (2), Aaron Hartup (2), Leo Mace (2) and Paul Foster.
All in all, an excellent day at Watcombe!
Next Saturday (7th Oct), Jack Rushton’s league-leading 2nd XV have their first home game against New Milton’s 2nds. Having won both their away games already (with bonus points), there is every reason to get excited about the prospects of our 2nds with its eclectic mix of new and old.
Whatever the result, you can be sure that there’ll be entertainment.
Team photo provided by Warren Whitmore of The Island Echo
Match report provided by James Morton, Ventnor RFC