RUGBYOld Blues 20, Sandown and Shanklin 14
ANOTHER defeat for Sandown and Shanklin last weekend confirmed they would remain in London South West 3.
The Islanders went into their final league game of the season with an outside chance of promotion but Old Blues, who finished mid-table, refused to let it happen.
Things did not start well when brothers Dan and Josh Robinson clashed heads, the latter needing stitches to his head which eventually forced him off the field, to be replaced by Josh Wetherick.
Old Blues attacked the Sandown line with real force but the strong defending of Robinson and Luke Chandler kept them at bay for the early period of the game. However, it all proved too much and Old Blues crossed after 15 minutes.
This seemed to spur Hurricanes on and their best phase of first half followed.
The versatile Andy Gough led by example, with strong ball from Danny Thomas, assisted by captain Joe Rees, making inroads.
Pressure finally paid off when fly half Kern Wales scored under the posts in his last league game for the club, converted by Damian Marriott. In the second half, Hurricanes scored from a line-out, the ball fed to Tommy Booth, through Frank Bagnall and Wales and eventually to Wetherick, who touched down. Marriott converted.
Sandown were now in the ascendency but eventually, the game took a turn and the fitness of Old Blues began to show as they scored out wide.
The last ten minutes was an end-to-end affair with both sides having chances to seal the victory.
Hooker Ben Kullik made a winger-like break down the left hand side before being bundled into touch by the Old Blues defence and Todd Eldridge continued to carry well.
However, it was Old Blues who got the decisive score in the corner when their centre was tackled, but apparently not held by Vikoma man of the match Luke Chandler, so regained his feet for a score in the corner.
Wightlink man of the match was Sam Rees.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the side take on Fordingbridge at the Fairway ground in the final of the Hampshire Bowl. Kick off is at 3pm and all support is welcome.
Sandown and Shanklin: Eldridge, Kullick, Skelley, S. Rees, Bagnall, J. Rees, Thomas, Booth, Dove, Wales, D. Robinson, J. Robinson, Chandler, Gough, Marriott. Subs: Harris, Wolfenden, Wetherick.