Brrrr… The driving rain and low temperatures did nothing to detract from the effort and enthusiasm displayed by both sides in this tight and fiercely contested encounter.
Totts operated a game based on driving mauls from the lineout but the Pompey pack regularly disrupted them with Bungle Burglar Bailey continually managing to annoy the opposition by popping up with the ball without once ever entering from the wrong side! Tackling was fierce from both sides with the Pompey pack producing great linking play. Neither side really threatened the line for much of the first half though Totts did slip through for a try just before the break.
The Vets were pleased to be going into half time just 7 points adrift as they had been battling against the driving wind and rain though were less pleased when the weather conditions turned benign for the 2nd half.
Despite this the Vets started the 2nd half full of vigour and were almost immediately rewarded with a try when Ken R Hodgson charged down a kick to go over in the corner. Styles obliged with the conversion to square the scores.
Things stayed tight ebbing and flowing for the next 30 minutes. Totts had the playing resources to bring on 6 or 7 pairs of fresh legs whilst Pompey had no cover. This told in the last 10 minutes with Totts going over for a couple of tries.
A good game and special mention must go to a number of players. To Wally Wilson who has announced that he only wants to play prop from now on. To PC Corfield who spent so much time trying to arrest his opposite number that he forgot about Totts scoring in the corner and finally to Mike Chilcott Caspall who is making fantastic progress bulking up to help him achieve his dreams of playing tight head.
Jonah (Hampshire Veterans Cup Winning Skipper – part 1 of 2)