Match report by Jim Dixon
Portsmouth travelled to Addlestone, Surrey, for this fixture. This is the first time they have played them at their home ground as the previous fixtures have been later in the season when they cannot use the College pitches. Portsmouth have previously played them at Ealing Trailfinders ground and Esher R.F.C. The surroundings at Addlestone were all rather sumptuous.
O.G’s got the game underway and Portsmouth were soon on the attack taking the game into O.G’s territory. A penalty against O.G’s resulted in a Portsmouth line-out close to the try line. From a catch and drive Portsmouth drove for the line for what seemed a good try but the referee ruled a double movement. The ball was laid back by the first carrier and picked up by a second player who touched down but the referee wouldn’t alter his decision. Shortly after this Portsmouth lost fly half Lee Chandler with a dead leg following a heavy no arms tackle which again was ignored by the official. Sam Olie came on to play fullback with Alisdair McDonald moving to No.10. The first try of the match came on 14 minutes with O.G’s scoring wide out following a scrum. The conversion missed with the score 5 – 0. Shortly after Portsmouth got themselves on the scoreboard following a good drive by second row Elliot Worrall taking the score to 5 – 5 on 25 minutes. O.G’s scored their second try on 32 minutes following good work by their 3’s. The conversion took the score to 12 – 5. This was followed by a 3rd try on just before half time taking their lead to 19 – 5. As half time approached Portsmouth put pressure on O.G’s and a loose ball was kicked upfield by winger Tom Hopkins who easily outpaced the opposition to touch down as the ball crossed the line, The conversion failed and the score was now 19 – 10 as the half time whistle went. Hopkins was easily the fastest player on the pitch and it was disappointing to note that this was his first real chance to stretch his legs.
Portsmouth got the second half underway and O.G’s were soon adding to their 1st half score line with a try through the 3’s out wide taking thew score to 24 – 10 on 43 minutes. Matt Hyde then came off to be replaced by Adam Parks-Dare. O.G’s scored their 4th. try on 52 minutes taking the lead to 29 – 10. Shortly after this Portsmouth then had 2 players yellow carded about 2 minutes apart. Following a penalty against Portsmouth for a high tackle, O.G’s kicked down field and from the line out scored another converted try taking their lead to 36 – 10 with about 10 minutes remaining. Hopkins then had to leave the field with hamstring problems. As the game edged to its final conclusion Portsmouth again mounted a good attack and following some excellent work by Anthony Fooks he managed to force his way over the line for a very well deserved try. A fitting reward for all the hard work he had put in during the game, With the score now 36 – 15 the final whistle came to end the game.
This was a disappointing performance by the visitors but like a lot of London Old Boys sides O.G’s are usually stronger at home with reasonable forwards but good backs.
Portsmouth’s main problem stems from lack of availability with 6 or 7 changes to the team every week, That’s not to say that they lacked effort but all too often the final pass was either dropped or didn’t reach the recipient. They probably gifted O.G’s 2 or 3 tries and missed a few themselves. On the whole O.G’s deserved their win but Portsmouth could have made the score line much closer.
Portsmouth stay in 9th. place with Alton, next weeks opponents in 10th. following their 32 – 26 loss away to Old Granleighans who are currently in 4th.place. Petersfield remain top following their 32 – 5 win against Basingstoke,
TEAM: Finn Parry, Greg Hoolihan, Matt Hyde,
Sam Foster, Elliott Worrall,
Dan Perry, Anthony Fooks, Rhys Bowen,
Elliott Davis, Lee Chandler,
Connor Chalton, Dan Gates, Alisdair Macdonald. Luke Peters,
BENCH:Adam Parks-Dare, Sam Olie, Matt Howes.