Portsmouth 27 – 15 Alton

Portsmouth 27 – 15 Alton

Jim Dixon writes…

Portsmouth were intent on showing that last weeks good win over Old Georgians was no fluke.

Playing with a stiff breeze at their backs, were soon pressing the visitors line. A penalty to Portsmouth was converted by Gareth Davies and Portsmouth were 3 – 0 up in just a couple of minutes. From the re-start No.8 Aaron Beesley made good ground before Alton were again penalised giving Davies a kick to touch 5 metres from the try line. Beesley again took the ball and made good ground before laying the ball back to be picked up by Brad Atkins who crossed for their first try.  Davies’ conversion was true and they had a 10 – 0 lead on 7 minutes. Shortly after the re-start Davies again put in a good kick down field which bounced over the head of the defending winger, fortunately Luke Peters did what all wingers should do in following up the kick and he gathered the kick to touch down wide out. The conversion was successful and the lead was now 17 – 0 with about 11 minutes on the clock. Shortly after the re-start Alton had got into the Portsmouth 22 and a penalty against the home side saw Alton on the score board 17 – 3 on 22 minutes. Portsmouth were unlucky not to have added to their score when they crossed the line only for the Referee to rule against for a double movement. Alton were then penalised back chatting the Referee and from the scrum Beesley drove for the line to score wide out. The kick missed and Portsmouth now led by 22 – 3 and the half time whistle went shortly after.

Shortly after the start of the second half Portsmouth lost second row Elliott Worrall with bruised ribs and his place was taken by Bryn Rainsford. This was followed by Aaron Beesley who had to come of with what looked like a serious knee injury. Portsmouth were then penalised for coming into a maul at the side and from the resultant touch kick 5 metres from the Portsmouth try line they set up a good catch and drive to score their first try. The conversion missed and the score was now 22 – 8 on 48 minutes. With Portsmouth now facing the wind they were forced to be on the defensive for a period of time but managed to repel Alton’s progress. On 60 minutes Portsmouth were reduced to 14 when flanker Matt Hoban was yellow carded for a no arms tackle. During this period Alton were unable to press home their advantage, mainly due to some excellent defence by the home side.
Portsmouth then had a line out 5 metres from the Alton line and from a good catch and drive they drove to the line and Fooks took then ball over for their fourth bonus point try.. The conversion just shaded the post with the score now 27 – 8 on 72 minutes. From a scrum to Alton 5 metres from the Portsmouth line they managed to win good ball to score their second try which was converted giving the final score 27 – 15 as the whistle went to signal the end of the game. This was another good performance from Portsmouth with everyone putting in a good shift.

This win moves them up the table to 9th. on 23 points. Next weeks’ opponents are Trojans who lost to Warlingham 12 – 27. This is the match that was cancelled recently due to Covid problems. Portsmouth have now scored try bonus points in all 4 of their wins this season. Trojans are currently lying in 7th. place on 32 points.