Petersfield pay price for slow start in Hampshire Premier top of the table derby

Petersfield paid the price for a slow start in their 25-22 Hampshire Premier derby defeat against Alton at Penns Place.

Sunday, 13th October 2019, 5:07 pm
Jordan Hunter, pictured playing for Portsmouth, scored a try for Petersfield

The first defeat of the season for the home side meant their rivals toppled them off the top of the league.

Home coach Jim Pearce felt his side could have few complaints.

'It was a contest between two evenly-matched teams but Alton were worthy of their win.

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'They shot out of the blocks a lot quicker than us and were up for it more.

'Before we knew it we found ourselves 14 points down and having to try and claw it back.

'As coaches you can give the players all the tools but not the mentality.

'You could sense the feeling wasn't quite right before the game and that was how it transpired.

'We picked our game up at the start of the second half and put them under pressure.

'During that time a number of opportunities went begging.

‘We have to learn that you don't have to score off first or second phase possession.

 A lot more patience is needed from us in the red zone.'

Alton were superior in possession and territory in the first half and opened the scoring inside the first minute.

The visitors remained in charge and held an 18-7 lead at the break. 

Outside half Nick Blumlein scored all the home side’s points in the first half with a try and a penalty.

The home side were much more dynamic in the second period.

Inside centre Kieran Gericke scored under the posts after excellent work from Tom Land, Zak Jenkins and Nic Wilde.

Blumlein converted, bringing the home side back within two points of their rivals.

Alton withstood a battering in defence and in the final 10 minutes broke out to stretch their lead again with a penalty and a try.

Petersfield had the final say with another converted try from Jordan Hunter.

Field travel to Fordingbridge next week and will be looking for a strong performance against the fourth-placed side who boast a 100 per cent home record after thumping victories over Eastleigh and Alresford.