Double delight for Portsmouth on final away-day
Portsmouth capped their London three south west away campaign by completing a double over Battersea Ironsides.
The visitors scored four tries in a 24-21 success which consolidated their third spot.
Jim Pearce felt it was a good, controlled performance from his team.
‘We had to work hard for the win and at times played some really good rugby,’ said the director of rugby.
‘Key to the win was building up a 17-7 lead by half-time against the wind.
‘In the second half the wind dropped and Battersea came back at us. We ground it out in the end.’
On four minutes, Battersea opened the scoring.
They kicked to the corner for a catch-and-drive finished with the centre crashing over for a converted try.
Portsmouth soon levelled following a fine break from inside his own half by outside centre Jordan Hunter.
He put Luke Simmons under the posts, with Simon Morgan added the conversion.
Another good run by the powerful Hunter after 15 minutes set up a try for hooker Anthony Fooks – his 25th of the season.
Just before half-time a catch-and-drive by the Portsmouth forwards ended with scrum-half Danny Holbrook diving over.
Defences dominated after the break and both sides struggled to find the final killer pass.
Battersea reduced the deficit with a converted try and the visitors had Darren Crabb yellow-carded.
But despite being a man down, Portsmouth immediately went on the attack.
And man-of-the-match Hunter powered away before sending Dan Gates over in the corner.
Morgan again added the conversion.
Portsmouth played the last 10 minutes with 14 men after Hunter received a yellow card for a seat-belt tackle.
The final score came in the last minute when Battersea’s left winger finished off a counter-attack with a converted try.
In Hampshire one, leaders United Services lost their one 100-per-cent record in a 22-5 defeat at Fordingbridge.