Portsmouth 30 – 17 Petersfield

Portsmouth 30 – 17 Petersfield

Match report by Jim Dixon

Portsmouth started the day with a lovely Memorial Lunch in memory of former Clubman and Coach, Sid Street, who sadly passed away recently after a long battle with cancer. Over 50 members and family enjoyed a great lunch provided as usual by former 1st XV prop and Chef Jimmy Martin.

On a lovely warm and sunny but blustery day Portsmouth kicked off into the wind and were soon attacking Petersfield’s goal line. A good touch kick by fly-half Gareth Davies, following a penalty saw Portsmouth set up a good catch and drive and crossed over for their first try scored by Elliott Worrall. Simon Morgan was on target with the conversion and they led 7 – 0 after 3 or 4 minutes. Shortly after Petersfield hit back with a penalty kick making the score 7 – 3. From another good kick by the fly-half Portsmouth were awarded a 5 metre scrum and they managed to drive Petersfield over their try line for Anthony Fooks to score. Morgan was again on target with the score now 14 – 3 after 10 minutes. Petersfield hit back with a try from a lineout 10 metres from the home sides try line and the conversion closed the gap to 14 – 10. This was followed shortly after with a yellow card for centre Lee Chandler. Petersfied then took advantage of the situation to score their second try thus taking the lead 14 – 17 although some rather lax defensive work didn’t help the home side’s cause. With about 25 minutes gone Chandler came back on having served his 10 minutes. The game was getting rather scrappy with both sides guilty of penalties and the first half rather petered out with the score still 14 – 17 in favour of the visitors.

The second half started with Portsmouth having the benefit of a following wind. Portsmouth had the opportunity to level the scores with a penalty but instead of a kick at goal they went for touch. From the lineout Portsmouth lost the ball and Petersfield were able to clear their lines. Petersfield then won another penalty giving them a chance to increase their lead but good defensive work by the home side prevented a score. Portsmouth then had a period of good possession and tried hard to close the gap but were just kept out by another penaly giving Petersfield a chance to clear their lines. Shortly after this the visitors managed to intercept a pass giving them a clear run in to the try line but luckily for the home side the player was deemed to be offside as he caught the ball. The resultant penalty saw Morgan on target and the score was now 17 apiece. Penalties continued to be issued against both sides thus disrupting the flow of the game. Then came a moment of brilliance for Portsmouth when prop Ryan Moore managed to rip the ball from a Petersfield and after making a bit of ground ne passed to centre Duncan Steed who made good ground before passing the Brad Jewer on the wing and henraced clear for a try near the touch line. The conversion missed but Portsmouth  re-took the lead 22 – 17. With Portsmouth now getting some control back they ran another good line when the whistle went giving them a penalty although possibly advantage should have been played. Another penalty against Petersfield saw Morgan on target with his kick and the lead was now 25 – 17 with about 6 minutes remaining. Brad Jewer then scored his second try following a good 3’s move. This time the conversion just went wide with the score now 30 – 17 and about 90 seconds left. Eventually Portsmouth won the ball and a kick to touch by Elliott Worrall saw the final whistle go with a win to the home side. They also scored 4 tries so get a bonus point. The Coaching team was delighted with the win even if the game was rather scrappy. This win sees Portsmouth move into 5th. place level with Winchester who are ahead on points difference. Next weeks opponents are Gosport and Fareham who beat Trojans 38 – 31 and are in 3rd place.The one bit of worry for the coaches is an injury to scrum half Harry Drew. He took an off the ball tackle which resulted in an injury to his shoulder and could put him in doubt for next weeks match, after seeing the Club’s physio he was possibly going to hospital for an xray to see what the damage was.

After the game when everyone was back in the Clubhouse, President Nigel Morgan introduced this season’s Club Captain, Lee Chandler, and 1st XV Captain Max Clarke to much applause. Lee Chandler is the son of former Club Captain and Coach Ian Chandler and this is the first time in the Club’s history that father and son have appeared on the Honours Board.

Next weeks fixture promises to be a hard fought contest so lets hope plenty of supporters turn up to cheer them on.