Portsmouth II 5 – 5 Andover II
Match Report by Jim Dixon
In the event of the cancellation of the 1st XV fixture away to Andover due to a frozen pitch it as left to the 2nd and 3rd.Portsmouth XV’s to fly the Portsmouth flag.
On a bright, sunny but cold day Portsmouth 2’s took to the field which was in reasonably good nick as it had been pretty frozen most of the day on Friday.
Andover were the usual team we are used to seeing with big tall forwards. From the start they were soon on the attack and from a kick ahead they chased the ball and a rather kindly bounce saw them cross for the opening score. With the conversion missing they led 0 – 5 with only a couple of minutes on the clock It looked as though it as going to be a long hard day for Portsmouth. However they had forgotten about the crowd pf Portsmouth supporters, mainly from the 1st XV, who gradually increased in numbers as the game wore on and with the increase in numbers so the rather raucous support grew louder. This seemed to spur the 2’s on and it as not long before a driving maul saw Portsmouth score to draw level at 5 – 5 as the conversion missed. Andover were the more dominant side as the first half progressed and although Portsmouth had a couple of scoring chances they were unable to add to their tally and the half time whistle went.
The second half began and it was a much more aggressive Portsmouth team that appeared so goodness knows what was said at half time. It was that and the, by now, extremely noisy spectators that cheered the 2’s efforts every time they made a tackle or ran with the ball. This saw a definite increase in Portsmouth’s attacking play and for the majority of the 2nd half play was confined to the Andover half much to the delight of the spectators. However, despite some missed opportunities Portsmouth were unable take the lead and the game petered out to a 5 – 5 draw. The rather noisy Portsmouth spectators were all the more impressive as there was barely a pint of beer between them. Back in the warmth of the Club house 2’s players were saying how appreciative they were of the support from the 1st boys, so well done to them.
The 3rd XV travelled to Chichester for their game. They were down to 11 players before they set off and were going to borrow a couple of Chichester players but some 1st players who were a bit short of game time went with them and in a pretty fractious game came away with a 12 – 19 win
In Counties 1 Hampshire league there were only 2 games played, Alton dispatched Petersfield 69 – 7 and Havant 2’s beat Gosport & Fareham 17 – 31.
Next week we will resume League matches, weather permitting, and the 1’s are home to Winchester, the 2’s are away to Winchester 2’s and the 3’s are at home to Eastleigh 3’s All games are 2.00pm.kick off.