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Home > News > Verwood 17 - South Wiltshire 10
Your News Verwood 17 - South Wiltshire 10

Bottom topples Top in Verwoods exciting win - by Tomas Preselo | Mon 21/11/11

Last Saturday was a defining point for Verwood in every sense. Welcoming the League leaders to Potterne Park should on paper have been too much for a Verwood side languishing at the bottom of the table.

But this day saw Verwood transformed from a rudderless early season side into a team capable of toppling the league leaders after drawing with the previous weeks top of table in Bridport. Here was a new found self belief and confidence from within the squad to convert talent and promise into results.

At first sight South Wilts looked formidable with a powerful and sizeable pack

well complemented with a backline that appeared comfortable with ball in hand. Verwoods performance, however, was to outplay them in all but the set play largely due to the oppositions heavier scrum.

Refreshingly Verwood started strongly, and the pack looked primed for the clash; battling hard upfront and securing quick ball for the backs. The tone for the match was set by winger Joel McNally, who laid down Verwoods intent with a thrilling break down the blindside only to be thwarted by an excellent cover tackle.

Verwoods rhythm was excellent, with slow ball being taken on by the forwards, and then released to the backs when momentum was generated. The strategy was effectively moving South Wilts around the park, breaking down their defensive cohesion and dominating in the first half with tactically astute play. The first try came from Joe Walsgrove (pictured) who scythed through a disorganised defence to touch down wide of the posts. The next score was a fine solo effort from Brandon Clarke after a series of well worked forward phases and fly half Karl Jensen putting the former Zimbabwe player storming around the full back and in under the posts. Tom Preselo converted. 12 0 to Verwood at the break.

The second half saw the tide of play begin to shift in favour of the away team who began with a greater sense of cohesion and purpose and Verwoods defence began to creak from the lively running of South Wilts backs. Finally some tired Verwood tackling allowed South Wilts to go over for two unconverted scores. 12-10 to Verwood with 20 minutes play remaining. However, as South Wilts weightier scrum began to do dominate, a freak knee injury to Verwood prop Micky Mazzeo allowed the scrums to continue uncontested thus eradicating their oppositions domination in this facet.

Verwoods Karl Jensen controlled the final quarter clinically with cute tactical kicks for ending with number 8 Tim Linford (pictured) crashing over in the corner from a powerful pick at the base of the scrum. The final whistle was met with jubilation and vindication from Verwoods coaches and players who have stuck together through a difficult start to their season. Final score Verwood 17 South Wilts 10.

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