OAKWOOD sponsored Andover took another excellent scalp in London South West Three last Saturday with a thrilling 24-22 win over promotion hopefuls Warlingham.

Although the visitors arrived lying in third place in the league, these two sides have produced many close encounters in recent years and with Andover themselves in fine form in recent weeks, the scene was set for what was to follow.

Andover began down the slope but with a strong wind against and Warlingham soon took the initiative.

An Andover error handed them possession and after a spell of constant pressure they scored a well taken try.

Annoyed with themselves Andover came out all guns blazing. A combination of strong carries by Nic Reed, James Smith and Jake Dixon led to a penalty that was kicked to the edge of the 22.

From the lineout Smith fed hooker Tom Waite who kept up his recent try scoring form with a great finish out wide, splendidly converted by Rich Retallick.

Andover then enjoyed a spell of possession from a solid scrum and lineout and notably from a number of fine turnovers by the excellent CJ Fiern, Billy Pollard and Fin Waite.

The pressure told when a clever quick tap penalty from scrum half Sean Higgins saw man of the match Jake Meek storm forward. From the ruck Tom Waite fed Rettalick and he struck the ball neatly for a drop goal.

Andover kept the pressure on but were wasteful and just before the break Warlingham made them pay with a try on the counter attack after a loose defensive kick.

At half time Simon Preece replaced Wayne Jones in the second row and just after the break Harvey Maloney replaced injured wing Alex Arter.

With wind at their back Andover took complete control.

Maloney fielded a deep kick and countered and from a penalty Andover kicked deep to touch.

A superb lineout saw the ball flash wide to Harrison Pape and after great work by him and Feirn, Josh Gibbs finished the move superbly with Rettalick again converting.

Andover then lost the influential Higgins to injury and Arter retook the field to bravely replace him.

Andover did not let up with Reed going close before the visitors received a yellow card for stamping.

Andover took the opportunity and from a ruck on half way, the excellent Arter broke blind and went fifty meters to score a lovely try, with Rettalick again on target.

Andover then made the mistake of relaxing thinking the game was won and against a committed side they were soon made to pay.

From a scrum on their own line Warlingham broke the length of the field to reduce arrears.

Soon after Bryn Waite, on for brother Tom, was yellow carded for cynically preventing a similar break as Andover suddenly woke up and smelt the danger.

Not to be denied the visitors scored again though with moments to go and from the kick off won a penalty.

It was a tough ask but they went for it and as the last kick of the game sailed by, Andover had their win, just.

Afterwards director of rugby Andy Waite said: "'This was a very sharp learning curve for some of our younger players. We were in complete control and then switched off, made a few errors and almost paid the price. That said it was another superb win and we're really developing well."