US forced to tough it out for win over Southampton

Simon Burns
Simon Burns

Cornborough helps England notch first victory

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United Services secured a hard-fought 17-8 win over Southampton at Clarence Fields to move up to third in Hampshire one.

The home side had to work hard in the first half after establishing a 10-3 lead.

On 15 minutes, Gregor Irvine made a sizzling break from a quick-tapped penalty resulting in a try in the corner for Alex Doolan.

Jake Webster converted and added a penalty soon after.

The big Southampton pack hit back, trundling Services back to go over for a close-range try and reduce the arrears to two points at 10-8.

In the second half, Services held the powerful Southampton forwards at bay before sealing the win 10 minutes from time.

A series of quick rucks put Bob Hoskins in space and he burst through two tackles to score a converted try under the posts.

‘It was a tough game in appalling conditions to suit Southampton’s big pack of forwards,’ said Services coach Simon Burns.

‘We have got a couple of games against lower sides coming up while our promotion rivals have to play each other.’

Petersfield fell to a 22-6 defeat at Farnborough.

Fareham Heathens suffered double disappointment in their 15-12 defeat at the hands of Overton.

The loss meant Heathens were knocked out of the HSB Gales Bowl as well as losing ground in Hampshire two.

But manager Chris Lee was upbeat.

‘This was definitely our best performance of the season,’ he said.

‘The game was played in atrocious conditions and we started slowly.

‘If we can maintain this level of commitment and determination, results will soon start to go in our favour.’

The visitors paid for a sluggish start and trailed 10-0 at half-time.

Overton tightened their grip with another try soon after the restart.

Heathens hit back when new recruit Sami Raloka scored a try.

Another Raloka try, under the posts, was converted to put Heathens right back in it but their late push came to nothing as they were twice held up over the line.