Portsmouth Dreadnoughts battle back for key win

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts' Jack Flemming (with the ball) scored their final touchdown in the win against Hertfordshire Cheetahs. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts' Jack Flemming (with the ball) scored their final touchdown in the win against Hertfordshire Cheetahs. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Portsmouth Dreadnoughts head coach had praised his side’s mentality after they defeated their toughest rivals.

The head coach watched as his squad beat Hertfordshire Cheetahs 23-12 at Hooks Lane to remain unbeaten in the SFC South division two.

The win means the Dreadnoughts have now reached the play-offs.

Head-Rapson said: ‘It is tremendous to have won the game as that was our biggest test so far.

‘Our preparation was more intense compared to other games and we were extra motivated because we knew how competitive the game would be.

‘The team spirit and how we stuck together was really good, especially when we went behind in the first half.

‘We managed to come back and dominate the game because of our mentality.

‘Everyone stuck together and supported each other. We didn’t let our heads drop and we kept the strong mental attitude that has helped the team all season.’

The Dreadnoughts started the game with an early touchdown – courtesy of a catch by Kieran Bellinger.

Kicker George Evans converted the extra point to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.

The Cheetahs responded and got on the scoresheet with a touchdown, although they were stopped in their attempt for an extra two points.

The Dreadnoughts did not lose focus, though, and pressed on – extending their lead to 10-6 after an Evans field goal.

The competitive start to the game continued and the Cheetahs scored their second touchdown from a long pass. Again, they missed the extra point to lead 12-10 at half-time.

 After the break, running back Dan Thomas put the Dreadnoughts in front again after running with the ball into the endzone. The extra point was missed.

Tight end Jack Flemming added to the home side’s tally with another touchdown and Evans scored the extra point.

The Dreadnoughts face the Cheetahs again on July 29.

Head-Rapson said the away fixture will be their hardest game of the season.

‘The away game will be more competitive,’ he added.

‘We are aiming for an undefeated season, division champions and top seed for the play-offs. This win puts us in a good position to achieve all of that but it depends on what we do in the next game. 

‘Hertfordshire can take the division with a win, although they would need to win by 24 points.’