Delighted Portsmouth end their travel woes with win at Tadley

Greg Hoolihan. Picture: Allan Hutchings (14281142811)
Greg Hoolihan. Picture: Allan Hutchings (14281142811)
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Portsmouth boosted their London two south west survival chances with a 17-8 win at Tadley.

It was the Rugby Camp club’s first away success for nearly two years.

They started the game badly when Tadley scored a try inside the opening five seconds.

But, to their credit, rallied to get the victory.

Coach Ian Chandler was pleased with the recovery.

He said: ‘We were stunned when Tadley scored straight from the kick-off and wondered how the players would react.

‘Thankfully we came back to recover well, playing against a very strong wind.

‘By half-time we built up a 17-8 lead.

‘But then we became nervous and went into our shells.

‘Because we hadn’t won away for so long we clammed up and it was disappointing we didn’t get the bonus point that was there for the taking.’

Tadley capitalised on a mistake to go ahead so early on but Portsmouth hit back with Tom Cantwell taking the fight to their hosts.

When the visitors worked their way upfield, hooker Greg Hoolihan levelled with a try from a rolling maul.

Adam Long put Portsmouth in front, getting on the end of another handling move that started just outside the Portsmouth twenty-two.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Anthony Fookes went over for the third try, with Simon Morgan adding an excellent conversion.

‘The win puts us eight points clear of the bottom two and provides a bit of breathing space,’ said Chandler.

‘Hopefully getting our first away win will take a lot of weight off our shoulders because the players now know they can do it.’

Unbeaten United Services consolidated their 10-point lead at the top of Hampshire one with a 37-7 win at basement-club Romsey.

‘We had the bonus point wrapped up by half-time and after that went through the motions a bit,’ said Services coach Graham Butterworth.

Jin Taylor, Liam Geoghan, Gareth Guyll and debutant Chai Atkins all crossed for tries.

Southsea Nomads lost 53-5 at Alresford in Hampshire two.