Runaway Hampshire One league winners United Services Portsmouth arrived on the crest of an eighteen game unbeaten streak. With a side comprising of a mix of younger and more experienced players we kicked off with high hopes of stopping that run
Fantastic hard fought win for Fordingbridge beating US Portsmouth 22 – 5
Runaway Hampshire One league winners United Services Portsmouth arrived at the Rec on the crest of an eighteen game unbeaten streak. Having lost convincingly to USP earlier in the season we were determined to put on a better performance for our supporters in what was our last game of the season. With a strong side comprising of a mix of younger and more experienced players we started the match with high hopes of bringing their run of wins to an end.
The game kicked off and an indication of the strength and determination of both sides was that the first score in the match came after 36 minutes of play. Following prolonged pressure in their twenty-two Fordingbridge’s Man of the Match, Mat Norton, broke through the strong defence to touch down at the foot of the posts. He then added the extra two to closeout the first half seven points to nil to us.
This was a top of the table clash with much expected of the game and it duly delivered. Both teams played hard uncompromising rugby that was almost more about defence than attack. In the earlier game of the season, the United Services were completely dominant in the forwards which allowed them to score six tries from their scrum. This time however, the packs were much more even and although Portsmouth were still heavier, great work from Ross Bealey at eight for us went a long way to nullifying that advantage.
After fifty-two minutes Peter Scott touched down right in the corner to stretch the lead to twelve and a superb kick from the touch line from Mat Norton added the two points.
However, Portsmouth were never far away from scoring and five minutes later touched down in the corner. The difficult conversion was narrowly missed meaning that the large home crowd were still not able to relax with only one score in it.
With ten minutes to go Peter Scott scored again in the corner to relieve the nerves of the spectators. The conversion was missed but with less than ten minutes to go it looked like an upset was on the cards.
The game was sealed with a seventy-sixth-minute penalty to give us an unassailable lead. As the final whistle was blown the superb US Portsmouth run of eighteen wins had come to an end in what had been a fantastic game of rugby.
In the post match huddle on the pitch a delighted Harry Hitchings commented that the match had been one of best for a long time and that the commitment and team spirit had been superb.
Magnanimous in defeat the US Portsmouth Captain congratulated us on our performance and in turn Harry Hitchings, extended the club’s congratulations to Portsmouth on a amazing season and wished them well in the London league next season.