Portsmouth take great heart from vital victory

Dan Neville. Picture: Mick Young 132976-03
Dan Neville. Picture: Mick Young 132976-03
Anthony Fooks. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-346)

Pearce: Best is yet to come from Portsmouth

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Portsmouth found their form to record their first London two south west win of the season with a 16-8 success against Old Reigatians at Rugby Camp.

The forwards and the backs were in good form for the hosts.

Veteran back-row forward Tom Radbourne had to be drafted into the centre at late notice.

Both Tom Whitehouse and Will Phillips succumbed to injury during the warm up, as it looked bleak for Portsmouth.

But the Rugby Camp side responded in fine style with Dan Neville one of their key performers.

‘It was a huge win and a wonderful filip for us,’ said director of rugby Ed Neville.

‘I have been optimistic all along, because our performances have got better and better.

‘There is still a lot more to come and we can all take great heart from this win.

‘It doesn’t get us off the bottom but we are convinced we have the players to get us out of this situation.

‘If we can get a couple more wins under our belt before Christmas it will make a big difference.’

The two sides traded penalties before Portsmouth scored the opening try.

Wing-forward Adam Long showed great skill to find a way through for the touchdown.

The visitors responded with a try of their own to send the teams in level, with eight points each at the break.

A second Neville penalty restored Portsmouth’s lead at the start of the second half.

Then inspirational captain Greg Hoolihan added a try from a driving maul.

‘This win will give us a lot more belief going into future games,’ said Ed Neville.

United Services recorded a 37-22 win at lowly Southampton in Hampshire one.

Unbeaten Petersfield maintained their eight-point lead at the top of Hampshire two.

They recorded a 34-6 win over Ventnor at Penns Place.

Southsea Nomads stormed to a 61-12 win at lowly Alresford.