ANOTHER close game, but another defeat for Andover as once again personal errors undid a very strong team performance, WRITES Andy Waite.

Before the game skipper Alex Hibdige asked for a better start than of late, but he must have been covering his eyes when a first minute defensive blunder against United Services Portsmouth handed the visitors the lead.

After this set back, Andover did quickly improve and when Ioan Gwynne Davies finished after good work from Jack Stott, Charlie Waite’s excellent conversion gave them the lead.

Andover then conceded again before Gwynne Davies went quickly and flashed over the line for his second try of the match.

Services are well organised side with a huge pack, but they struggled all day with the power of Andover’s hard running Nic Reed and Tom Waite and it was this combination that won a penalty for Andover deep in the US twenty two.

As the visitors re-organised Gwynne Davies went quickly and flashed over the line without a hand placed on him for his second try.

US began to struggle up front, as for the first time this season their own huge power was tested to the limit by Carl Sievewright and youngster Jake Dixon.

A yellow card soon followed for US and from the resulting penalty, Tom Waite finished a fine catch and drive, with brother Charlie hitting the post with the conversion attempt.

However, a lack of defensive discipline again cost the All Blacks as the visitors scored twice more.was to cost them dear. Firstly a poor defensive kick allowed US unchallenged possession, which they ran back to score far too easily.

Then as Andover put them under severe pressure and looked to have struck a real blow taking a defensive scrum against the head, poor control gave the grateful visitors a penalty and as a disbelieving home pack watched, US ran the length of the pitch to score again.

Behind instead of in front at he break as they should have been, Andover were deflated, but honesty from the players at half time saw a renewed determination.

With slope against Andover continued to dominate at scrum time with Sam Earle replacing Sievewright as Andover pressed from the off.

US to their credit continued to threaten with ball in hand and scored a further try to feel more comfortable.

Nic Reed added another try for the hosts before a moment of controversy in the game that cost Andover. US attacked sharply but Andover were convinced they had forced the ball carrier into touch.

Andover soon wrecked this new found confidence however, as the impressive Conor Green’s brilliant catch and run set up Ali Donan. He fed Dixon and when he offloaded to Reed with one defender to beat, the defender had no chance, with Charlie Waite once again converting.

Then came the one moment of controversy in the game that Andover felt cost them dearly. US attacked sharply but Andover were convinced they had forced the ball carrier into touch.

Not so said the US touch judge, amongst huge derision from the home players and fans, but the score stood.

With 20 minutes to go Andover looked to have to settled for one point, but they were having none of it.

Now completely in control of the tight they poured forwards.

US defended manfully, but with ten to go after incredible pressure, they finally broke and as Harry Scobie was held up after a great break, Tom Waite again burrowed over.

Now with a second bonus in the bag, Andover needed to decide to take what they had, or risk losing it to go for the draw and a third point.

This Andover team only know one way and they went for it.

In a final few minutes Andover threw the kitchen sink at US and camped on their line, but when they were held up on the final play, as the exhausted official blew for time and a thoroughly entertained crowd applauded both teams.