Jim Dixon writes…
Portsmouth welcomed Old Georgians to Rugby Camp hoping to make amends for last weeks poor performance against Petersfield.
The match was preceeded by a Memorial Lunch in honour of former Club Captain Steve Todd who tragically passed away last year. The lunch was attended by over 90 members, friends and family. After an excellent meal provided by former player Jimmy Martin there were 5 short but really poignant speeches from Club Members which provided a very emotional response from all present.
Old Georgians got proceedings underway with a good crowd providing plenty of vocal support for the home side. Portsmouth soon showed their attacking intent and only a misjudged pass prevented the first score. Portsmouth actually then crossed the line but were deemed to have been held up. Eventually pressure told and they crossed for the first try through Elliott Worrall, showing good pace, and converted by Solanki giving them a 7 – 0 lead after 15 minutes. Portsmouth then had to defend their line and with some good work they worked their way up to the halfway line until a knock on stopped their progress. O.G’s were awarded a penalty but this was reversed by the referee for back chat . From this Portsmouth set up a good attack and the ball went through several hands and it was winger Luke Peters who rounded his winger and scored close to the posts. Solanki was on target again and the score was now 14 – 0 on about 33 minutes. Second row Elliott Worrall made an excellent run from the re-start and only poor finishing prevented a score. He soon made amends however, with his second try after a good run. The try was converted by Solanki as the half time whistle went with Portsmouth leading by a deserved 21 – 0.
Portsmouth got the second half underway and soon scored their 4th. try following a good run by Myles Whittingham making ground before passing to Ravudolo who ran round behind the posts to touch down. Dan Gates then took over the kicking duties and his conversion took the score to 28 – 0. O.G’s soon showed that they hadn’t given up and they eventually scored their first converted try taking the score to 28 – 7. Rather disappointingly the game became a bit disjointed with O.G’s querying almost every decision against them. After some good work by the home side involving their three quarters Luke Peters finished of the move with a try close to the posts. Dan Gates took the kicking duties again but the ball hit the post and bounced back in field,making the final score 33 – 7 as the final whistle went.
This was a good performance by Portsmouth especially after the recent loss of 1st. captain Greg Hoolihan and Club Captain Adam Partks-Dare as a result of serious injuries in consecutive weeks, giving them a much needed second win. With 3 home matches today and the lunch, the Clubhouse was a very happy and vibrant place to be.
Next week sees them home again, this time to Alton who beat Old Cranleighans 33 – 17. Alton are in 8th place on 28 points and Portsmouth will no doubt be looking to build on this victory to move up the league.
Portsmouth stay in eleventh place, but are now on 18 points with Old Cranleighans just 2 points above them. The surprise result of the week was Old Walcountians victory over Trojans 101 – 3 . Petersfield beat Basingstoke 5 – 68. Petersfield remain on top on 59 points with Weybridge Vandals in second on 58 points, Both are unbeaten.
On a rather lighthearted matter it is worth noting that prop Ian French is 45 years and his replacement Ian Douglas is 53. Frenchie played about 60 minutes and Dorey 20 minutes so a big thankyou to them both. It just shows what you can do if you put your mind to it.