Wimborne 58 Andover 12

Andover suffered a heavy defeat as they made an ill-fated journey to Dorset last weekend to face a full-strength Wimborne side in the Papa John's national cup.

Andover made the journey with a heavily depleted squad to play their first-ever fixture in the competition due to large amounts of unavailability, but the players who were there put in a monumental effort and were in the game until they finally got overwhelmed in the final quarter.

The game began badly for Andover when the home side scored after just two minutes.

Andover came back well however and behind a solid scrum and dominant lineout, where Callum Hollinshead shone, the launched a wave of attacks.

Man of the match CJ Feirn, showed his all-round game by taking over touch kicking duty and launched a monster for a five-meter line out. 

Callum Barber Starkey was spot on with the throw and then combined well with Stan Pearson to put young flanker Louis Davies over for a lovely try.

Andover continued to make in roads through the direct running of Nic Reed, but at scrum time they were not getting the rub of the green as James Monck was not getting the penalties his dominance deserved.

It was one such situation that the home side were handed a second score.

Andover did not panic however, and their young backs continued to cause problems. Louis Shinton making his debut on the wing outside Feirn put in a good shift, and on the other wing normal back rower Bryn Waite was making a lot of ground whenever he got the ball.

Indeed, five minutes later it was he who finished a lovely move. Sean Higgins made a fine break, offloaded, got the ball back, fed Max Graham, who combined with Davies to put Bryn Waite away in the corner. Graham then converted splendidly to give Andover a deserved lead on the half hour.

That was as good as it got for Andover.

They continued to run at Wimborne with real purpose but spurned a few good chances to extend their lead. Wimborne have not had an unbeaten season for nothing and before the break two quick fire scores saw them go in with a lead.

After the break Andover tried hard to stay in the game. Feirn was incredible in defence and Fin Waite along with Ryan McGealy did everything they could to stem the tide.  

But as the game wore on the effort began to tell on the Andover boys and Wimborne exploited the gaps that were appearing. Charlie Rhodes cam off the bench and did well but it wasn't enough and a few late tries finally put Andover to bed.

After the game Director of Rugby Andy Waite said 'Although the players are down about how we played they actually did well in large parts of the game. CJ was incredible in defence and the whole side turned in a defiant performance in the circumstances. The younger lads had a chance to show us what they can do and none of them let us down at all.'