Fareham Heathens pay the penalty at Alresford

Steve Devoy of Fareham Heathens. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Steve Devoy of Fareham Heathens. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Ryan Wilkie in possession for Portsmouth. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Portsmouth rise to call for ‘heart and desire’

Portsmouth took on Old Tiffinians at Rugby Camp. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

IN PICTURES: Portsmouth 14 Old Tiffinians 12

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Fareham Heathens lost 20-13 at Alresford in their rearranged Hampshire one contest – but came away with a deserved bonus point.

Heathens made the trip knowing victory would almost guarantee a place in next season’s Hampshire Premiership.

Unfortunately, Alresford won the battle up front to clinch glory.

Heathens head coach Dave Wheaton said: ‘We were slow to start and never really got going.

‘Our penalty count was far too high as we could not adjust to how the referee interpreted the offside. This was one of our downfalls.’

Heathens’ points were all scored in the first half – with a Steve Devoy try converted by Cam Guthrie, who added two further penalties.

Director of rugby Bernie Rhodes added: ‘We had to make some late changes in the pack and that seemed to unbalance the team slightly.

‘Charles Chipperfield, who is normally hooker, put in a man-of-the-match performance playing at wing-forward.

‘Alresford deserved their win. It puts them seventh in the table, which would mean they will play in Premiership next season.’

Heathens travel to Overton next weekend – where they will once again target the victory to book a spot in the county’s top flight.

Southsea Nomads slumped to a 46-5 defeat at Hampshire two leaders Farnborough under floodlights on Friday night.

After a long break between games and limited training, the task of taking on the leaders proved too much.

Jonathan Branston opened the scoring with his side’s only try – charging down a kick, collecting the ball and touching down inside the first minute.

But after that the powerful hosts put the visitors under increasing pressure to run out comfortable winners.

Nomads captain Joe Beale praised his side’s spirit.

‘We showed a good chin-up attitude and scrummaged solidly all game,’ he said.

Hampshire under-20s’ championship game against Gloucestershire at Hooks Lane yesterday was postponed because of the snow.

It has been rescheduled for next Sunday.