Portsmouth boosted their chances of avoiding a relegation battle by beating London two south west basement side Teddington 34-5 at Rugby Camp.
The Norway Road club remain third from bottom but made up ground on Winchester immediately above them.
‘This was a big win for us and means we can go into our derby against Gosport & Fareham in good heart,’ said director of rugby Ed Neville.
‘The first half was a very scrappy, error-strewn affair between two sides who didn’t want to make any mistakes.
‘Important scores either side of half-time gave us the advantage and we went on to win comfortably.’
Portsmouth were stunned inside five minutes when the visitors opened up with a well-finished try.
It wasn’t until the stroke of half-time that Adam Long replied with Dan Neville kicking the conversion.
‘Our first try in the final minute of the first half was a crucial score,’ said Ed Neville.
‘It enabled our coaches to give the team a good talking to during the interval.
‘After that we took the game to Teddington and it paid off.’
Having led 7-5 at half-time, further tries from Long and Tom Whitehouse in the opening minutes of the second period saw Portsmouth take charge.
Curtis Barnes and Will Phillips added tries late on and Gareth Richards scored a drop goal.
United Services had their Hampshire one promotion hopes dented by a 53-3 defeat at Fordingbridge.
Services coach Brian Saunders admitted his team were well beaten.
‘Fordingbridge were a lot better than us,’ he said.
‘They were strong in the scrum, well-drilled and well organised.
‘We didn’t play well and we were taught a few lessons.
‘The league is still very tight, though, and I am confident we can still be in the mix come the end of the season.’
Fareham Heathens remain in pole position in Hampshire two after a 30-3 win at Fawley.
Second-placed Petersfield kept up the pressure on the leaders with a thumping 60-12 win over Aldershot & Fleet at Penns Place.