US Portsmouth put right early season defeat to take bragging rights in high-scoring derby victory over Portsmouth 2nds

US Portsmouth gained some revenge over their big city rivals with a resounding victory which kept them top of the Hampshire One standings.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:39 pm
US Portsmouth's Bailey Barnes goes flying over for his first of two tries in the win over Portsmouth 2nds. Picture: Keith Woodland

Portsmouth 2nds, who had secured a 10-8 home victory when the teams met in October, were on the wrong end of a 54-22 scoreline at Burnaby Road.

Table-toppers US Portsmouth were in no mood for any messing around, with Lewis Murray converting seven of the eight tries the hosts ran in on what was a one-sided derby day scoreline.

It was Portsmouth who were rewarded for a bright beginning, firing over a penalty to open up a 3-0 advantage inside the opening 11 minutes.

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Ryan Merrikin forces his way over for US Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland

That only seemed to spark life into US Portsmouth though, as they scored two converted tries through Bailey Barnes and Ryan Merrikin to lead 14-3 at the interval.

The scoring then went crazy after the restart with floods of tries going in and a total of 59 points added in the second half.

Barnes went over for a second time before Henry Young added his name to the scoresheet as US Portsmouth raced into a 28-3 lead within three minutes of the resumption.

Portsmouth grabbed their first try of the game soon after but there hopes were soon dashed as Young extended the home side's advantage to 35-10.

Portsmouth 2nds pull another try back but they were well beaten in the end at city rivals US Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland

Again the visitors rallied and things were looking uncertain for US Portsmouth as they led by just a 13-point margin at 35-22 with 16 minutes still remaining.

But the league leaders showed their quality in the closing stages to run out comfortable winners in the end.

Will Dixon started a late flurry of 19 points scored by the hosts with his try while Murray, who had kicked brilliantly all afternoon, also went over before Sam Masters got a third try in as many outings to round off the convincing 54-22 victory.