Andover 43 Eastleigh 22

In a pulsating game that would have graced the division above, Saxon Safety sponsored Andover swept aside the challenge of a very good Eastleigh side, with a first half display of running rugby that was at times breath-taking.

If it was the returning Niko Rowe who did most of the damage with a sparkling hattrick, wonderful displays from CJ Feirn, Charlie Waite and Jake Harwood backed his efforts to the hilt, and gave Andover the edge in a physical and at times feisty battle.

Having lost narrowly to the 'Pirates' in the opening game of the season Andover were out for revenge and started strongly going down the slope.    

A fine break from Rich Retallick led to a 5 m scrum for Andover and when Sean Higgins found the marauding Feirn, he smashed over for a try converted by Retallick.

Soon after Eastleigh gave warning that they were not there to roll over, hitting back to level the scores from a quick tap penalty.

Then came what was thought at the time to be the try of the game. From a scrum on the 22 Charlie Waite made a lovely break before releasing Rowe to feed Feirn for fantastic score converted by Retallick.

Andover began to gain the upper hand at scrum time, where Stan Pearson and Jake Meek were giving their opponents a torrid time.

Andover looked to be cruising but Eastleigh soon reminded them they were in a game with a second try of their own.

From the restart Bryn Waite rose well to win the high ball and when Eastleigh infringed, Retallick was again on hand to knock over the penalty.

Then came the actual try of the game. An incredible break from his own half saw Harwood skip through the defence before putting Rowe away for his second of the game.

After the break Eastleigh predictably came back at the home side with an intensity Andover struggled to cope with.

Two tries got them back within touching distance, but the introduction of Billy Pollard and Louis Davies closed the door firmly again, before that man Rowe once again struck.

The powerful centre ripped the ball from an opponent and with sixty meters to go and comfortably outstripped the cover to score under the posts, with Retallick converting to finally put Andover out of sight.

Afterwards director of Rugby Andy Waite said: "This was a great battle, but I think we deserved the win because we played with such ambition. We scored some excellent tries and showed some real quality. Congratulations to Harrison Pape who was awarded the supporters player of the season after the game, very much deserved for a great campaign."