Match report by Jim Dixon
From the kick off play was mainly contained between the two10 metre lines as both teams fought for domination. However it was the home team that came out on top in the early exchanges. They gradually managed to dominate both the lineouts and scrums, although Portsmouth were able to secure the ball on their put ins they did so whilst going backwards thus giving their backs now real forward momentum which resulted in play taking part mainly in the Portsmouth 22 area. The pressure enventually told and O.E’s got on the score board with a try close to the posts which was converted giving them a 7 – 0 lead after about 27 minutes. Ian French came on to replace Rhys Bowen in the front row. A penalty kick was squanderd by O.E’s and a second try was only prevented by solid defence by the visitors and the half time whistle went with the score 7 – 0 to the home side.
The second half started with Lee Chandler having to be helped off the field as he was going in and out of consciousness and an ambulance was called to treat him.Bradley Jewer came non to replace him. A good attacking move came to nothing when it all broke down as they closed on the O.E’s try line only to loose the ball and suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of a second O.E’s try which was converted, giving them a 14 – 0 lead after 2 or 3 minutes of the re-start. However Portsmouth were not done yet and an excellent move by Bradley Jewer as he made a fantastic break, making good ground before passing to Sam Foster who then passed to Greg Hoolihan who score close to the posts. Hopkins converted and the score was now 14 – 7. Jewer was on hand again to make another good break and he managed to gather his own kick ahead to out strip the opposition to score out wide taking the score to 14 -12. A penalty against Portsmouth saw O.E’s extend their lead to 17 – 12. Portsmouth were now on a bit of a roll and from a kick ahead by Luke Peters, he managed to collect his own kick and outstrip the opposition to score out wide taking the score to 17 – 17. O.E’s then made a change at fly half in bringing on a player who hadn’t played for the all season but changed the shape of the game for O.E’s as he soon managed to dominate proceedings. The result was that the game suddenly swung back in favour of the home side as he sidestepped his way through Portsmouth players to score close to the posts taking their to 24 – 17. O.E’s were soon scoring their 4th. try after some scrum pressure, taking the final score to 29 – 17 as the final whistle went.
This was a very disappointing performance by Portsmouth especially after last weeks second half display versus Basingstoke although it must be said that this team was stronger than Basingstoke,. Portsmouth had opportunities to score but poor finishing or loosing the ball in contact certainly didn’t help their cause.
Portsmouth have now slipped back to 11th. in the League on 8 points, with Old Emanuel in 10th. on10 points. Petersfield still top the table despite a 25 – 12 loss away to Warlingham. Old Cranleighans ,our next opponents , lost 7 – 36 away to Weybridge Vandels. Portsmouth’s next match is in 2 weeks time as there are no League fixtures next week so they have a rest which will hopefully give time for some niggly injuries to improve,
TEAM: Rhys Bowen, Bradsley Atkins, Adam Parks-Dare,
Sam Foster, Max Clarke,
Anthony Fooks, Greg Hoolihan, Aaron Beesley.
Elloit Davis, Lee Chandler,
Tom Hopkins, Rokilibau Ratu Rusiate, Masirewa Vihame, Luke Peters
Bench: Bradley Jewer, Ian French, Dan Perry,