Portsmouth Veterans 36 Stoneham 15
On a cold and blustery day the HVCC got off to a traditionally slow start allowing Stoneham to score through the dour Ken Ross who was a HVCC loaned to the opposition! Things soon got back on track with some excellent forward drives led by Wally Wilson with fantastic support and encouragement from the dour Jamie McLaughlin. This was backed up by sterling runs by debutants Clunie and French and finished off with a Mat Gronow try from close range which evened the score.
The game opened up with the Stoneham scrum half making a number of jinking runs, even managing to avoid a Mat Lane tackle and the lead changed hands rapidly as first Stoneham scored then Gronow finished off a well worked move from a yard out.
The loan of HVCC Ross continued to help out Stoneham as he chipped ahead for one of the Stoneham players to score showing that there may yet be someone to take up the mantle of the Great Chalky White whose knee seems doomed to remain as swollen as his ego.
Gronow continued to make up for the disappointment of being substituted in the cup final by flopping over the line for two more tries. This gave him four tries in one game more than his total for the previous two seasons!
The game was clinched for Portsmouth with a wonderful individual try from HVCC skipper Jonah Jones. After making a 50 yard break he linked up with Nathan Woolmer who, despite not having enough pace to finish off the move, managed to recycle the ball allowing Jonah to take their scrum half on the outside and score in the corner.
Another notable moment in the game included the final appearance of Kieran Godkin who, after 10 years of loyal service to Vets cup runs, is now finally calling it a day to take up the challenge of “Ironman” and he is due to complete the 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full marathon with Jonah in July.
“The truth is out there”
D & D - Hampshire Veterans Cup Winning Skippers