The first league game of the 2015/16 season saw our 1st XV take to the field in the late Summer sunshine at Alrebury Park against Southampton last Saturday.
Previous encounters with Southampton have always been hard-fought affairs and the team expected this occasion would be no different. Alresford had prepared well in pre-season with the coaches focusing heavily on fitness and establishing game-plan. And it showed. Within the first 10 minutes Alresford had already scored their first try after working their way up the pitch, adhering strictly to coach Cain Price's gameplan.
Southampton fought hard from the start, but the game-plan and communication between the Alresford forwards, scrum half and back line saw them move through the phases smoothly, again crossing the try line no more than 10 minutes later. With the try converted, Alresford led into half-time 12 - 0.
The second half progressed in similar fashion, with Alresford moving through the phases well, kicking for territory and winning the contest at the breakdown. Good phase-play and line-breaking runs from both forwards and backs, saw Alresford make ground and their tackling in defense after turnovers drew much applause from the local crowd who had gathered on the bank.
Alresford's game-plan frustrated Southampton into several penalties, granting Alresford further territory and also saw the pack begin to dominate the scrum. A penalty 5 yards from Southampton's line saw a colossal effort from the forwards to drive for the line, pulling in defenders before passing the ball out wide for another try in the corner. A further two tries and a conversion were to be added in the following 20 minutes.
But Southampton never gave up and fought for every ball, lineout and breakdown, their persistence being rewarded 3 minutes from full time with a consolation try.
Full time 29 - 5 and the first league home victory and bonus point for Alresford.
Trys : James Airey (3), Shaun Memory & Dan Wright
Conversions : Ted Hepenstal (2)
Man of Match : Sam Murrell