Portsmouth charge to vital win at Teddington

Cornborough helps England notch first victory

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Portsmouth romped to a 57-7 London two south west win over hosts Teddington.

The win lifted the team from Rugby Camp four points above closest relegation rivals Trojans.

Crucially they are now out of the bottom two.

Portsmouth have the chance to clinch safety in their next outing, as they have a game in hand on Trojans.

Manager Nigel Morgan was pleased to see his men deliver the goods after making a memorable start to the contest.

He said: ‘It was important that we got this one right and the players did just that.

‘We were helped by starting the game with one of the quickest tries I have ever seen.

‘Only 12 seconds could have elapsed before we scored, virtually straight from the kick off.

‘The game was all over by half-time when we led 33-7 and had already secured the bonus point.

‘We could have scored a lot more but the second half became very disjointed.’

The visitors made a dream start when the home side misjudged the kick-off.

That allowed Curtis Barnes to collect and race over in the corner.

Portsmouth added further tries from Barnes, Adam Long, Chris Morgan and Matt Morgan before the break, with Chris Morgan kicking four conversions.

After the break, the visitors added further tries from Will Phillips, Matt Morgan, with a brace, and Barnes.

Boss Nigel Morgan praised hat-trick-heros Barnes and Matt Morgan.

‘Curtis showed just what he is capable of,’ said Morgan.

‘He made two and scored three tries and his pace is deadly if he is given any space or room to exploit it.

‘Matt Morgan reads the game well and is brilliant at turning ball over and getting over the gain-line

‘Neither has been available all season and if they had been we would be nearer the top than the bottom.’

Portsmouth are now favourites to avoid the drop but Nigel Morgan knows the job is not yet finished.

If his side lose at Tottonians without picking up anything they will face a tense final test of nerve at Old Reigatians.

‘The situation is now simple – two points from our last two games will keep us up,’ said the manager.

‘Hopefully we can achieve that against Tottonians – we don’t want it going to the final game if we can help it.’

In Hampshire one, United Services saw their outside chances of promotion killed off by a 20-13 defeat at the hands of league leaders Fordingbridge at Burnaby Road.

‘It was a good game and we were in front 10 minutes before the end,’ said coach Brian Saunders.

‘I thought we put in a gallant performance.

‘We can take a lot of encouragement from it and the club are geared up to make another promotion bid next season.’