‘Lovely feeling’ as win makes a big difference for Portsmouth

Tom Whitehouse
Tom Whitehouse
Steve Cruddas will start for Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Matthews: Unbeaten streak key to Havant’s promotion charge

Have your say

Portsmouth hauled themselves off the bottom of London Two south west with an excellent 32-11 win over Old Alleynians at Rugby Camp.

The city club were great value for only their second league success of the season.

Director of rugby Ed Neville believes the win will give his team great heart.

‘This is a massive win for us and one that has been coming for a few weeks,’ said Neville.

‘We have been playing well, without being able to convert that into tries.

‘This will make a big difference and it is a lovely feeling to move off the bottom of our league.

‘It is well deserved, though we did have a few anxious moments midway through the second half.’

The home side made a poor start from the kick off, enabling the Old Boys to notch an early penalty.

Dan Neville responded with a penalty for the hosts who suffered a blow when veteran centre Matt Gronow was forced off injured midway through the half.

Portsmouth need not have worried, though.

Winger Dan Gates moved to centre and had a terrific game.

Tom Whitehouse scored the only try of the first half and Neville’s conversion gave Portsmouth a 10-3 lead at the break.

A Will Brock try tightened Portsmouth’s grip at the start of the second half before they suffered a slight wobble.

Old Alleynians reduced the deficit to 17-11 with a converted try and a penalty.

‘Those were slightly nervous moments,’ said Neville.

But Portsmouth pushed on with tries from Rob Gicquel and Whitehouse.

United Services suffered an 8-5 defeat at Andover in their Hampshire one top-of-the-table clash at Andover.

‘It was a case of how to throw a game away,’ said Services director of rugby Simon Burns.

‘Andover scored with an interception try and were hardly in our half.

‘When we had chances with penalties in the second half we didn’t kick at goal.’

Luke Ageus scored Services second-half try.