Eastleigh dent Ellingham & Ringwood's title hopes

Bournemouth Echo: . .

ELLINGHAM & Ringwood’s championship hopes took a dent after losing a tight derby match 10-8 at fourth-placed Eastleigh on Saturday.

Despite dominating possession and territory, the visitors were pegged back in a close encounter with their Hampshire rivals in London Three South West.

Prolific goal kicker Charlie Cockram missed out through illness, an omission which proved crucial as a third defeat of the season saw Ellingham & Ringwood slip further behind runaway duo Farnham and KCS Old Boys at the league’s summit.

Wing three-quarter Dan Stewart scored a smart try and back row forward Ali Bennett kicked a penalty but Eastleigh’s converted try and a penalty eventually proved enough.

Ellingham threw everything forward in the second half but were unable to break down a resolute defence with several penalty attempts going wide to leave coach Phil Osman crestfallen at full-time.

“This was a game we really should have won,” he said. “We are still in third place but Farnham and Kings College School Old Boys have now opened a gap at the top of the table which is going to be difficult to close in the second half of the season.”

Lacklustre Oakmeadians’ championship quest also took a knock when they lost 24-0 to a well drilled North Dorset IIs out fit. Oaks still sit second in Dorset & Wilts One South despite their third defeat of the campaign.

Elsewhere, it was derby day in Dorset & Wilts Two South with leaders Dorset Dockers toppling nearest challengers Lytchett Minster 24-0.

Two converted tries late in the first half cost the injury-plagued hosts dearly and despite mounting several attacks after the interval, the free-scoring Dockers added another brace of efforts after the break.

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