Teddington 10 Andover 28
It was another tough day at the office for Oakwood sponsored Andover last weekend as a rejuvenated Teddington made them battle all the way for a vital away win.
Andover remain proudly at the top of the table after containing a first half assault from the home side before gradually taking full control in the second.
As top side Andover are there to be shot at and it’s testament to the character they are now showing that they after coming through these tests in such clinical fashion.
With breeze and slope in their favour Teddington came at Andover from the off and after missing an early penalty were awarded a controversial converted try after ten minutes, when the ball did not seem to actually make the line.
The home side added a penalty soon after but Andover then began to gain a foothold.
Tom Erskine Tom Waite and Alex Hibdige began to carry powerfully as Andover attacked the fringes punched holes in the Teddington defense.
Billy Pollard in particular shone in the loose and it was from his charging run that Teddington transgressed and Charlie Waite coolly slotted the resulting penalty.
The game then became a midfield stalemate for some time before the controversial try was evened up, when Teddington had a good looking effort ruled out for a foot in touch.
As half time approached a high tackle on George Roscoe, who was once again impressive at stand-off, gave Charlie Waite a chance to narrow the gap further and he needed no second bidding.
With the elements in favour Andover felt they had weathered the storm and so it turned out in a pretty one sided second half.
Just after the break Charlie Waite brought Andover back to within a point with a third successful kick and the writing was on the wall for Teddington.
Andover piled on the pressure with a series of scrums after a penalty for a deliberate knock on when Andover seemed certain to score.
After several more penalties despite not producing a yellow card, the referee finally lost patience and awarded Andover a penalty try which Charlie Waite converted.
Andover were tactically astute playing the game deep in the Teddington half and before long they struck again.
From another short scrum Marc Wilding broke blind and crashed over to score with Charlie Waite again adding the extras.
With the win now safe, Andover began to play with more freedom and when at last the dangerous Niko Rowe was released in midfield by a wonderfully timed Roscoe pass, he breezed past three hapless defenders to score a wonderful try from fifty metres out.
With a bonus point in sight Andover poured forwards but lost possession at a crucial moment to be denied for the third match running.
Afterwards Coach Andy Waite was delighted with the win “Although we didn’t get a bonus point we did play very well especially in the second half” he said.
“These are very difficult matches and earlier in the season we were losing games like this so we have to be happy with the progress we have made since then.”
“The good news is that we now know we can get even better. We now know how to play a different way if we need to and the players look far more like they believe they belong at this level.”
“The form of our youngsters Charlie Waite and George Roscoe is especially pleasing and is a real testament to the way our whole club from Academy upwards is really behind what we are trying to achieve.”
Next week Andover have a rest week before entertaining Old Tonbridgians at home the week after.