DEPLETED Portsmouth saw their hopes of reaching Twickenham dashed by a 52-12 loss in the RFU Intermediate Cup at Brighton.
The powerful home side proved too strong and marched into the regional final as injuries took their toll on Portsmouth.
‘We can have no complaints and were well beaten by the better side,’ said Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler.
‘Brighton were worthy winners and we were always going to be up against it with a weakened team.
‘By half-time we were down to the barebones and, though we rallied in the second half, it was a tough day for us.’
Full-back Curtis Barnes pulled out with a back injury before kick-off.
That was a huge blow for the Rugby Camp outfit.
Then in the first half, Tom Hankey, Rob Gicquel and Will Carpenter all left the field due to injury.
Prop forward Dan Sargent took his tally to 18 tries for the season.
Luke Richardson also added a try and Dan Neville kicked one conversion but it was not enough.
United Services slumped to a 26-12 Hampshire one defeat against Millbrook.
It was a miserable day for Services.
They had to switch the match to Gosport & Fareham’s ground.
Then they lost prop forward Ben Lanigan, who required surgery after suffering a double fracture to his ankle and leg.
With Services trailing 10-4 shortly before half-time, the game was held up for an hour while the injured Lanigan was moved into an ambulance.
The first half was completed on a different pitch before the teams moved back to the original pitch for the second half.
‘Losing Ben is a big loss,’ said Services coach Burns.
‘We battled hard and never gave up but couldn’t break down the Millbrook defence in the second half.’
Southsea Nomads produced a stunning second-half fightback to beat Chineham 28-21 in a Hampshire two game also switched to Gosport Park.
Kyle Bond scored a first-minute try for Nomads, converted by James Hardy.
By half-time they trailed 21-7, though.
Tries from Sam Till, Pete Whelan, John Marsden and Salter-Vaille turned the match around and Hardy kicked another conversion.
Fareham Heathens slipped to a 10-5 defeat against Isle of Wight outfit Ventnor at Cams Alders despite a spirited performance.
‘Ventnor went away knowing they had been forced to fight hard for their win,’ said Fareham spokesman Chris Lee.
‘All our players worked hard in a good team performance.’
Fijian Sammy Raloka scored the Heathens try.