Jim Dixon writes…
Portsmouth welcomed Trojans to Rugby Camp for their 2nd League match, hoping to put the disappointment of last weeks loss against Andover behind them.
Trojans got the game underway and were soon putting pressure on the Portsmouth line, but the home side were able to hold them out and following a penalty were able to get into the Trojans half. Eventually Trojans, from a scrum, won good ball and their No.8 took the ball from the base of the scrum and he crossed for the first try of the match just wide of the posts. The conversion missed and the score on 4 minutes was 0 – 5 to the visitors. 4 minutes later Portsmouth won a penalty following good pressure and fly-half Gareth Davies slotted to conversion making the score 3 – 5. Portsmouth were able to put pressure on Trojans with some good kicking from Davies. With the game swinging from end to end it was Portsmouth who scored next with a penalty by Davies making the score 6 – 5 with about 22 minutes on the clock. Portsmouth then had a lucky break following a good Trojans move which saw the final pass being adjudged forward. Their luck didn’t hold out for long however when a good move from Trojans saw some slick interpassing in their backs which resulted in a try close to the posts which was converted making the score 6 – 12 to Trojans. Trojans were soon on the attack again and were able to add another converted try giving them a 6 – 19 lead as the half time whistle went. Two Trojans tries in about 4 minutes certainly didn’h help the home side’s cause.
The second half started with Portsmouth applying pressure to the visitors and after about 45 minutes they were again on the score board thanks to a Gareth Davies penalty. 9 – 19
More pressure from Portsmouth soon bought more reward to them with another Gareth Davies penalty closing the gap to 12 – 19 with about 53 minutes on the clock. Then came a bit of just reward to Portsmouth when following a good kick from the home side’s fly half the ball was collected just in the Trojans half and eventually a good inside pass to second row Darren Crabb saw him sell a dummy and run in from around the 22 mt. line to score just wide of the posts. The try was converted by Gareth Davies and the scores were now level at 19 apiece, with about 10 minutes remaining. The Portsmouth forwards were now working well and were getting the upper hand. A penalty to Portsmouth from near the half way line saw the kick just fall tantalisingly short. This was Gareth Davies’ first miss of the afternoon. With about 6 minutes remaining Portsmouth were awarded another penalty which was converted by Davies giving Portsmouth a slender 22 – 19 lead. The home side then lost two players to yellow cards in quick succession as they fought desperately to hang on to their lead. However, Trojans with their full compliment were able to set up a move with their 3’s and they scored a try wide out which they couldn’t convert but gave them the lead 22 – 24 as the final whistle went much to the bitter disappointment of the Portsmouth players and spectators alike.
A very bitter pill indeed!
As a result of Saturday’s loss Portsmouth drop 1 place to 9th with 3 points. Next weeks opponents are Weybridge Vandals who lost to Old Georgians 16 – 14 putting them in 8th.place on points difference -2 against -6. Old Cranleighans top the table with a resounding victory over Old Emanual 12 – 45.