UCD 0 Portsmouth 11

Louis Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler
Louis Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Louis Dennis marked his comeback from the cold in swashbuckling style as Pompey opened their pre-season campaign with a 11-0 romp against University College Dublin (UCD).

The in-demand forward fired a double and two assists as Kenny Jackett’s men took a 5-0 lead into half-time at the UCD Bowl.

Amid interest from Championship clubs Wigan and Millwall, Jamal Lowe was also on the scoresheet while Ronan Curtis bagged a brace.

After the interval, Brett Pitman notched a hat-trick, with Gareth Evans, Ben Close and Joe Hancott also on target.

It took Pompey just 10 minutes to open the scoring when Dennis’ cutback picked out Curtis, whose header went through the arms of Conor Kearns and into the far corner.

Six minutes later, Lowe doubled the lead - with Dennis again at the heart of things again.

The former Bromley man did brilliantly to skip past Paul Doyle before cutting a ball back for Lowe, who finished with aplomb.

Following two assists, Dennis then got himself a deserved goal on 24 minutes. Lee Brown spotted the 26-year-old run and played a quick free-kick, with Dennis coolly finishing on the angle.

Pompey were in rampant mood, with Curtis netting a fourth in the 39th minute. Ellis Harrison, who arrived from Ipswich this summer, whipped in a pinpoint cross for Curtis.

The Republic of Ireland international chested the ball down before finishing into the top corner.

And the visitors added a fifth goal four minutes before the break, with the eye-catching Dennis increasing his tally.

He intelligently spun away from his marker to latch on to Harrison’s threaded ball before deftly finishing.

Jackett changed his entire team for the second half – but they were just as dominant despite the pouring Eire rain.

In the 51st minute, Evans scored a sixth when his powerful left-footed shot fizzed in via the underside of the crossbar.

Ten minutes later, it was skipper Pitman’s turn to etch himself on to the score sheet. He was played in by Andy Cannon before calmly finishing from close range. 

Pitman notched his second – and Pompey’s eighth – 12 minutes before full-time when a UCD laid a goal on a plate for him.

Evans’ corner was failed to be cleared, with the ex-AFC Bournemouth forward smashing home from close range.

Then it was third-year scholar Hancott’s turn to get into the act a minute later, tapping in after Pitman’s effort was saved.

Pitman unsurprisingly completed his hat-trick on 81 minutes when he outmuscled Aaron McCrath before coaxing a finish beyond the helpless home keeper Tom Murphy.

Then it was Ben Close who wanted in on the action five minutes later to net the final and 11th goal.

The midfielder arrived late into the box to drill a shot into the back of the net. 

There was no time added on by referee David Dunne and Pompey will certainly be hoping for a sterner test against the Hawks on Saturday.

Pompey: MacGillivray (Bass 46), Bolton (Walkes 46), Downing (Casey 46), Raggett (Burgess 46), Brown (Haunstrup 46), Naylor (Morris 46), McCrorie (Close 46), Lowe (Evans 46), Dennis (Cannon 46), Curtis (Hancott 46), Harrison (Pitman 46).