AS THE rugby season draws to close, Ventnor's and the Hurricanes' seconds took advantage of still-perfect pitches (after recent rain) — and cementing the good relations between the clubs — by playing a friendly. 

                           FRIENDLY — VENTNOR II 31, HURRICANES II 40

In front of a large crowd at Watcombe Bottom, the Sandown and Shanklin Hurricanes squad beat an emerging Ventnor seconds team in an open and fast-paced match, full of enterprise displayed by both teams. 

The Hurricanes', looking cohesive as a unit, piled on all the early pressure, with only the defiance of Ventnor’s young side keeping them out — epitomised by the work of Joe Coghlan, Dan Lythgoe, James Blake and Bradley Francis. 

But eventually the dam broke and the visitors took a deserved lead, which they then doubled when some uncharacteristically sloppy tackling allowed the Hurricanes' right winger to score from far out. 

Dean MAGNURSON got one back for Ventnor after good work from his son, Charlie, and Ross Harris, as Ventnor began to get a foothold in the game as skipper Jack Rushton rallied his troops. 

Lewy Morton and George Collett came on to challenge the Hurricanes at the gain line, but it was the visitors who stretched their lead as their better teamwork began to show.
The situation looked grim for Ventnor when the score reached 33-7.

But what fans have seen time and time again this season the common thread of determination, spirit and pride that runs through the Ventnor squad as they rallied — scoring two quickfire tries by the outstanding Jack DAVIS after great support from his dad, Gavin, and Tristan Price. 

James GREEN then crashed over after some try line pressure, with the returning Adam Coates at the centre of its.

With Ed Blake’s conversions, suddenly the score was hauled back to 33-24. 

The game anything but a friendly, with bragging rights the prize for the victors.

Morton was then yellow-carded — the visitors taking advantage of the extra man by scoring, arguably against the run of play, despite a break out and kick ahead by Jason Evans. 

Still, Ventnor came back with Harry Ottley showing some great pace and skill, and Neil Evans — in a brief cameo — demonstrating the importance of pressure defence. 

Callum Martin came on to bolster the attack and, in the final play, Ed BLAKE crashed over and converted to make it 40-31.