Dreadnoughts mauled by Bobcats

Running back Matthew Kirlew is stopped in his tracks by the Bobcats defence Picture: Mick Young
Running back Matthew Kirlew is stopped in his tracks by the Bobcats defence Picture: Mick Young
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Portsmouth Dreadnoughts suffered a baptism of fire as they crashed to a heavy defeat in their debut competitive game.

The Victory Field outfit went down 64-0 to the Bournemouth Bobcats after joining the British American Football Association National League.

The Bobcats have been established in the BAFANL since 2011 and were full of confidence after winning their first game of the season 26-0 against the Torbay Trojans.

But Dreadnoughts head coach Jim Roberson believes his side need to improve quickly to adjust to their lofty new surroundings.

Roberson said: ‘We always knew this game was going to be difficult because it was our first game.

‘It was a difficult game but I don’t think they (Bournemouth) were that good, I think we were just that bad.

‘We knew this whole season was going to be a learning curve because we are a newly-formed team.

‘We have brand new players playing against a team that’s well established in our league and already had a win under their belt. But I can’t make excuses.

‘We got beaten and that’s that.’

The Dreadnoughts started the game strongly in front of a decent crowd, with corner Joe Clulow making a tackle on the 20-yard line as the Bobcats made their first push for a touchdown.

The defence stayed strong to keep them at bay with the Bobcats going third down on several occasions.

But halfway through the first quarter the Bobcats pushed forward and scored their first touchdown of the game before adding the two points for a lead of 8-0.

Minutes later, they got through the Dreadnoughts defence for their second touchdown and opted for the two-point conversion rather than the field goal and led the game 14-0.

The Dreadnoughts offence had a chance to get on the scoreboard when quarterback Laurence Nelson darted through the defence, before being tackled by a well-organised Bobcats defence on the 10-yard line.

The Bobcats then had enough time left in the first quarter to score a third touchdown, despite safety Joe Perry making a strong tackle for second down on the 15-yard line.

The Bobcats continued to push on and a strong finish to the half had them leading 28-0.

The third quarter bought with it more touchdowns as the visitors hammered home their superiority to unlock the home defence.

And when the teams changed ends for the last quarter, the Dreadnoughts failed to get through to the end zone for their first touchdown of the season.

A big hit to the ribs for Dreadnoughts Andrew Dixon stopped the game towards the end before play continued and the Bobcats went on to score their final touchdown and two points to complete the scoring in ruthless style.

Roberson, meanwhile, was not looking for excuses and offered an honest assessment in his typical straight-talking style.

‘Their offence and defence weren’t amazing, but we couldn’t handle them,’ said Roberson.

‘I know we are a new team but we need to try harder for the next game and get stuck into their players.

‘I am a bit upset because I know the players could have put more effort in.’

The Dreadnoughts’ next game is away to the Gloucester Centurions on Sunday.