Bournemouth 2 vs Portsmouth, Saturday 11th February 2023, Counties 1 Hampshire League

Bournemouth 2 vs Portsmouth, Saturday 11th February 2023, Counties 1 Hampshire League

Match Report by Jim Dixon

Bournemouth 2nd Xv 28- 20 Portsmouth

Firstly I must apologise for the late publication of last weeks game v Andover , it got lost in transit and has now been published !

Portsmouth travelled to their second fixture out of Hampshire, Jersey being the other one, to take on Bournemouth 2nd’s.  Their last game against them at home saw Portsmouth sneak a narrow win so they new it would be a tough match, especially as they are stronger at home.

Portsmouth kicked off and managed to re-gather the kick but as the ball as spun wide it got knocked on.  A couple of penalties against the home side saw Portsmouth gain ground and with the second penalty Simon Morgan was able to kick a goal giving them a 0  –  3 lead with just a few minutes on the clock. Bournemouth soon hit back with a try following some interpassing and with the conversion going over they took a 7  –  3 lead.  Shortly after this Portsmouth lost their scrum half Cam McGuigan with a shoulder injury.  This saw winger Sam Olie move to No.9 and No 8 Ollie Simpson move to the centre.  Ryan Bosher came off the bench to move to the second row and Max Clarke went on to the back row from No.4.  Disruption that Portsmouth could well do without. 

A penalty against the visitors saw Bournemouth extend their lead to 10 – 3.  Brad Atkins had to come off for treatment to blisters on his heel so Ben Gordon came of the bench to take his place.   Another penalty kick by Bournemouth saw them further extend their lead to 13 – 3.  A penalty kick to Portsmouth saw them kick to touch and from the resultant 5 metre lineout they were able to set up a good catch and drive with Anthony Fooks touching down. The score was now 13 – 8 as the conversion  missed.  Portsmouth were beginning to put some good moves together and had the opportunity to close the gap but the ball got knocked on at the crucial moment.    A good lineout steal by skipper Clarke saw him drive upfield but yet another knock on saw the chance lost and the half time whistle went shortly after with the score still 13 – 8. 

The second half started with Brad Atkins coming back on and Ben Gordon reverting to the bench.  Bournemouth won a penalty that saw them extend their lead to 16 – 8.  Greg Jansen then got yellow carded for pushing his tackler after the tackle and from that Bournemouth were able to score a converted try taking the lead to 23 – 8. This was followed quickly with another try, unconverted, taking the score to 28 –  8.  Undeterred Portsmouth were soon back on the attack to score a try through Sam Olie. Morgan’s conversion from out wide hit the upright and bounced out. Thje score was now 28 – 13.  Jansen was then able to come back on so Portsmouth were now 15 again.  Portsmouth then got a second yellow card for Tom Hare. This was shortly followed by a yellow card to the Bournemouth No.8.  From the ensuing penalty Portsmouth had a 5 metre lineout which saw Olie Bowles drive hard for the line and he managed to cross for a good try or so we all thought but the Referee had other ideas as he ruled that the ball had been touched down first on the wrong side of the try line.  Bournemouth then had another player yellow carded and from another 5 metre catch and drive Portsmouth did this time cross for a try scored by Fooks. With Morgan’s conversion on target the score was now 28 – 20 and Portsmouth were looking for another score to further close the gap and get at least a losing bonus point but their efforts were curtailed as the full time whistle went.  

Portsmouth battled gamely throughout the match but all too often poor handling let them down  Olie Bowles had probably his best game since joining us during the season.  He made a thorough nuisance of himself through out the match but especially in the second half.  It is worth noting also that with Andy Barnes back helping with the backs coaching that is beginning to show the benefits although it would be so much better if more of the squad attended the training nights,  Todays referee will also be officiating next weeks fixture against Havant 2’s . Lets hope we have a better understanding of his decisions.

This result sees Portsmouth still in 7th. place, just 2 points above Alton in 8th but with a game in hand.  Elsewhere Jersey continued their dominance with a 0 – 81 defeat of Trojans.  Eastleigh beat Basingstoke 34 – 19 and Winchester beat Havant 2’s 32 – 12.  Special mention must also be made for Ian French who on Saturday notched up his 351st appearance for Portsmouth 1st XV at prop  Not only is he now in his forties but he lasted the whole game against Bournemouth 2’s. He did get mentioned in last weeks match report that has still not surfaced yet,

Next weeks fixture v Havant 2’s will be proceeded by a Past Players Lunch with just over 100 attending so there should be a good crowd there to give their support..