Portsmouth 14- 38 Gosport & Fareham
Match report by Jim Dixon
This was the final League match for this season, a game that should have been played on Saturday 17th.December but was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
And what a contrast it was with a warm sun on a mild and pleasant day.
Portsmouth kicked off and went straight onto the attack, keeping Gosport pinned in their 22. Portsmouth set up a good driving maul and eventually Brad Atkins broke away from the maul to score out wide. Gareth Davies was on target with the touch line conversion and they went into a 7-0 lead with only a few minutes on the clock. That score seemed to shake Gosport into action and they gradually worked their way down field. It was only good defensive work that kept them out. Portsmouth managed to work their way towards the half way line but a penalty against them gave Gosport the opportunity to kick for touch giving them a line out just outside the Portsmouth 5 metre line. Eventually the pressure told and they scored their first try which was converted, taking the score to 7 -7. With both sides vying for territory it became a rather disjointed game with both sides giving away penalties which stopped any flow to the game.
Indeed at also became a rather feisty match which as half time approached resulted in a yellow card for Greg Hoolihan. From the resultant penalty Gosport were able to cross for their second, unconverted try giving them a 7-12 lead and the half time whistle went shortly after.
From the re-start Gosport attacked the Portsmouth try line but again desperate defence kept them out. However Gosport kept up the attack and soon added to their score with an unconverted try, extending their lead to 7-17. From the re-start Bryn Rainford caught the ball and from his own 22 managed to almost reach the Gosport 22 before he was stopped. From a loose ball collected by Max Clarke he was able to kick across the pitch and Sam Olie was on hand to gather and touch down close to the touch line. Davies was again on target with the difficult conversion and the score was now 14-17. From the re-start Portsmouth were awarded a scrum in their 22 but Gosport put in a huge drive and managed to push the Portsmouth scrum back and as the ball squirted out it was quickly pounced on by the Gosport wing forward who brushed aside the defending players and scored out wide. With the conversion the score was now 14-24. This was followed shortly after with another try following some rather loose defending by Portsmouth. The score was now 14-31. With the game now getting rather more fractious a scuffle ensued which resulted in a red card for a Gosport player. The final score also came from Gosport ,again following some rather weak Portsmouth tackling, which took the final score to 14-38. Aaron Beesley was then yellow carded and the final whistle went shortly after.
This was a very disappointing result form Portsmouth, following their 3 last consecutive bonus point wins but yet again penalties and poor defending let them down. The result sees Portsmouth finish the League in 7th place on 44. Trojans are also on 44 points in 8th place but Portsmouth have a better win/loss record. Trojans beat Basingstoke 55-0. Winchester disposed of Eastleigh 0-78 and Andover beat Havant 2’s 17-14. Jersey finish top of the league with Winchester 2nd. Alton and Basingstoke finished 11th. and 12th.
The new Cup Competition is due next with the draw due to be announced on Monday and the first match due in April.
TEAM:FINN PARRY, BRAD ATKINS, ANTHONY FOOKS.
MAX CLARKE(C) BRYN RAINFORD.
OLLIE SIMPSON, GREG HOOLIHAN, AARON BEESLEY,
TOM DREW, GARETH DAVIES,
DAN GATES, JORDAN HUNTER, SAM OLIE, ALFIE WIGLEY.
BENCH: IAN FRENCH, ELLIOTT WORRALL, SAM FOSTER.