Portsmouth Pirates Australian Rules Football Club are continuing to grow and showed they are becoming a force to be reckoned with a fine victory against Wimbledon on the road.
After playing in the AFL Southern League last year, the Pirates went after a new challenge and joined up with AFL London.
In league action the Pirates made the trip up the A3 to Wimbledon to take on the Wimbledon Hawks.
Playing away from home for the first time the Pirates were keen to put on a show for the big crowd that is always attracted to these games in London.
They did just that, scoring quickly out of the blocks, after some great work in the middle of the ground by Pirates ruckman Gavin Fewell and vice-captain Murray Hobson.
The ball was kicked long towards the Hawks goal with Joe Marsh finishing off the move scoring his first of what would be three goals in the game.
By the end of the first quarter the Pirates led by 20 points with Joe Marsh adding a second and John Titcombe scoring pirates third.
Further goals from Michal Scharf (two) and Josh Llewellyn meant Pirates were up by six goals.
As the pressure was turned up by the hosts the Portsmouth defence stood strong with Robin Moore, Lewis O’Connor and Craig Hudson all immense.
Hawks finally got one on the board in the final quarter. Not to be outdone Pirates finished the goal scoring tally when Hudson scrambled one home from close range.
That made the final score Hawks 1.4.10 - Pirates 9.8.62
Club chairman John Titcombe said: ‘It is such a proud day for the club. We knew joining the London league would be tough as the teams are all well established with a lot of experience. The lads have worked extremely hard in the build-up to the season. Last week (a defeat to Reading) was a tough day at the office, but we went back to training focused on a few key areas and learnt from them. Every member of the squad played their part and it’s such a good feeling to get our first win under our belts.’
It has been a big year of transition, moving from the nine-a-side version to the full 18-a-side game. Unfortunately, their campaign started with a loss last week at the hands of Reading Kangaroos.
If you are interested in joining the club, Portsmouth Pirates are always welcoming new players. No experience is necessary, just turn up and join in. Training is from 7pm to 9pm every Wednesday at Warblington School.
The next game for the adult team is on Saturday against North London Lions (2pm). It is at Warblington School, and support is welcome.