ANDOVER Rugby Club Seconds will have to overhaul a 16 point deficit in the remaining leg of the John Collins Cup after losing 31-15 at home to Tottonians Seconds.

The Hinds went head-to-head with the newly crowned Solent League champions in the quarter final of the competition on Saturday, just two weeks after Totts had overpowered them in a league fixture.

Andover put in a gutsy display on that day and were in a fighting mood again last weekend.

Despite heavy pressure from the off Andover held rank for 12 minutes before some fast phase play allowed Totts in behind for a score under the posts.

Totts found it difficult to get any edge in the open play and it was an Andover mistake when clearing the lines that led to the second try of the afternoon to the visitors.

Determined not to be outdone, the Hinds team regrouped under the post.

Skipper Ben Hall was all too aware that the tie could slip away from the home team if they didn’t score the next points.

From the restart, an excellent kick chase from winger Elliott Copestake and centre Patrick Holmes saw the later collect a loose ball to power over for a try.

Full back Tommy Gentleman was unable to add the extras.

Andover began to get a hold on the game but a silly penalty given away by Copestake allowed Totts to take a commanding 17-5 lead.

Starting the second half with 14 men, after Copestake saw yellow prior to the break, the Hinds suffered a further blow when straight from kick-off Totts stretched their lead to 26 points.

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(Action from Andover Rugby Club Seconds defeat to Tottonians)

Andover made changes and with the team back up to full strength there was a slightly better dynamic in the backs which paid dividends when Holmes went over for his second try.

Fly half Jonny Rogers was close with the conversion attempt but slotted just wide.

Naz Alam replaced Newell through injury and immediately made an impact.

Some excellent mauling from the home team saw Alam find himself at the back to charge over the line and score a decisive try and end the scoring at 35-15.

The second leg is due to take place at Tottonians on Saturday, April 2.