Bournemouth II vs Portsmouth, Saturday 17th February 2024

Bournemouth II vs Portsmouth, Saturday 17th February 2024

by Jim Dixon

Portsmouth travelled on one of their longer journeys to take on Bournemouth 2’s on a rather damp and miserable day. Portsmouth got the game underway and managed to give away 6 penalties in as many minutes which rather frustrated the Coaches and the visiting spectators. Eventually however they got things under better control and soon started to dominate, especially in the forwards where they drove the opposition back on several occasions. The lineouts were also proving a good source of gaining extra ball with Liam Glazebrook stealing several balls on the Bournemouth throw.

Bournemouth had a chance of taking the lead with a penalty kick from just inside the Portsmouth 10 metre line but the kick went wide. It wasn’t long before Portsmouth got on the score sheet with a try by Aaron Beesley who made one of his typical runs through the opposition. With Gareth Davies on target Portsmouth took a 0 -7 lead. Portsmouth were soon on the score board again when from deep in their half they ran the ball up field through several pairs of hands until it finished with skipper Ollie Simpson who raced away to score . Again Davies was on target with the conversion and the score was now 0-14. Portsmouth were now dominating proceedings and again from inside their half ran the ball up field through several hands and eventually Leo Wall took the final pass to run through and round to dot down under the posts with Davies again on target. The score was now 0-21.

Portsmouth then made a couple of changes with Fooks and Chandler coming off to be replaced by Liam Avis and Dan Spencer. A 5 metre lineout to Portsmouth saw them set up a good catch and drive which resulted in Liam Avis scoring the 4th. bonus point try. The conversion missed and the lead was now 0-26. Portsmouth’s final score of the first half was from Leo Wall who touched down out wide after a good run. The conversion missed and the lead was now 0-31 with the whistle going shortly after, signalling the end of of the half.

The second half got underway with Bournemouth showing a more attacking game bringing Portsmouth’s defensive attributes to the fore. Eventually however the Bournemouth persistance paid of with a try close to the touch line, the conversion taking the score to 7-31. Portsmouth soon got back to their scoring ways however but not before Leo Wall had made way for Connor Charlton on the wing. From a kick by Bournemouth which was caught by Stewart Davies he made ground before kicking ahead, much to the disappointment of the Portsmouth spectators, but as he managed to gather his own kick and cover the ground to the try line and score their disappointment soon turned to cheers, Davies was back on target and the score was now 7-38.

Phil Galliland then came off to be replaced by Fooks. Bournemouth then lost one of their props who had to come off, and as there was no replacement the scrums went to uncontested. Fooks was soon on the scoreboard when he took a short pass and crashed his way over for a try. The conversion took the score to 7-45. Ollie Simpson then came off to be replaced by Aaron Beesley. Brad Atkins then got on the scoreboard when he crossed for an unconverted try taking the score to 7-50. Beesley then showed great awareness when the ball came loose in the in goal area after Bournemouth lost control, and he quickly raced through to touch down. Davies then took a drop kick to convert the score taking the tally to 7-57. A good break by Beesley saw him pass to the supporting Stewart Davies who crossed for their 10th try taking the final score to 7-62.

Liam Glazebrook again had a good game, not only in stealing the opposition’s lineout ball but generally in attack and defence. Beesley and Simpson also showed up well with both having some good runs. Simpson in particular showed good pace running with ball in hand, which showed the benefit both players got from the boxing they took part in during the summer break. Bryn Rainford again had a good game and he also stole some opposition ball at the lineout.

This result still sees Portsmouth siting in on 37 points, just 2 points behind Ellingham & Ringwood who have a much worse points record. Portsmouth play them in a couple of weeks but before that they have to travel to Gosport & Fareham next week in what promises to be a good local derby, They narrowly lost to Andover 28-33.and are in on 46 points.