Nomads put on fitting tribute for former star

Ashley Clarke
Ashley Clarke
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Southsea Nomads paid tribute to Ashley Clarke with a superb team performance in their 36-0 Hampshire two win over Lymington Mariners.

Nomads were devastated when 24-year-old former player Clarke died in a tragic accident recently.

Ashley, along with his brothers, James and Simon, and father, Ian, have been part of the club for 20 years.

Chairman Martin Drum expressed his sorrow at the death of the popular Nomads player.

He said: ‘The thoughts of everyone at the club go to his family.

‘Later on, we will organise an appropriate memorial match in memory of Ash.

‘They (Ashley and his brothers) used to come to training with their dad when they were only 10 years old.

‘Ashley used to climb on top of the changing room roof, leaving his dad having to go and get him down.

‘He returned to us as an adult player and was fantastic to have around the club.

‘Ash was a brave, commited and talented wing forward who inspired other players around him.

‘He never gave less than 100 per cent and was fearless.

‘Our physio was always kept busy patching him up because he would put himself on the line time and time again.’

Before the game, players were asked to each consider a quality Ash had shown and put it into the game.

The result was a magnificent team performance.

Portsmouth booked a place in the Hampshire Cup final with a 73-10 win over Jersey opponents Les Quennevais at Southampton Trojans RFC yesterday.

Andy Barnes kicked 11 out of 11 penalties and prop forward Dan Sargent notched another four tries – taking his tally to 23 for the season.

‘We played well and our opponents didn’t have an answer to our cut and thrust,’ said Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler.

‘We are targeting victory in the Hampshire Cup.’

Gosport & Fareham face Havant in the other semi-final next month.

On Saturday, Portsmouth lost 28-13 at Old Reigatians in London south west two.