Southsea Nomads beat Petersfield seconds to boost their top-three charge

Jonathon Branston. Southsea Nomads. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (260119-17)
Jonathon Branston. Southsea Nomads. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (260119-17)
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Southsea Nomads tightened their grip on third spot in Hampshire Two with a powerful 45-20 win against Petersfield II at Furze Lane.

Nomads captain Ben Horrod was delighted with the way his team performed in a competitive and physical encounter.

He said: ‘The lads put in a strong display, after winning ugly in our previous game.

‘This was a huge step up in performance by all the players.

‘Our attack was excellent and we finished off almost all the chances created.

‘We also defended strongly and our line speed gave Petersfield problems all game.

‘With one game left the destiny of third place is in our hands.’

The home side started the game looking to remain unbeaten for the whole of March but it was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams.

Nomads fell behind to an early penalty but this stung them into action.

Forwards, Alistair Taylor, Billy Wilkinson and Mike Westall made good ground with some strong carries.

When the ball was recycled quickly at the ruck Jonathan Branston stepped in to power over for a try.

Branston also added the conversion to give his side a 7-3 lead.

Soon afterwards from a line-out in the Petersfield 22 Murray Hobson and Taylor combined to present Daniel Hurry with a try.

Before the break the home side grabbed two further tries through Wilkinson and winger Josh Soper to take a 26-15 lead.

A strong start to the second half saw Nomads take the game away from the visitors.

Branston with a clever 'basket-ball pass' put Horrod in for a try under the posts.

A good piece of opportunism saw Horrod notch his second try.

Nomads put the icing on the cake with their final try through the power of their forwards.

After taking a strike against the head in a scrummage Joe Marsh controlled the ball at the back to claim the touchdown.

A depleted Fareham Heathens endured a difficult afternoon with a 59-5 Hampshire premier defeat at Fordingbridge.

Heathens were forced to travel with a much changed squad with late unavailability hitting hard on the morning of the game.

‘A complete reshuffle and untried partnerships were always going to cause concern,’ said player coach Dave Wheaton.

‘Injuries to our centre Dong Barrow and full back Aaron Dunning in the first quarter made things even worse.

The Fordingbridge backs were too strong for our reshuffled side and scored out wide with their pacemen all day.

‘Our forwards held the Fordingbridge pack and managed to control both scrum and lineout ball, however any turn over ball was punished.

‘With too many changes, you're going to struggle, but I'm still proud of the lads and how they never gave up and tried their best all day.’