Portsmouth leap clear of drop zone

Greg Hoolihan. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120247-3)
Greg Hoolihan. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120247-3)
Gosport head coach Barry Bridgman

Gosport improvement needed against champions

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Portsmouth climbed out of the London one south relegation zone with a 19-13 win over Haywards Heath at Rugby Camp.

The hosts led 19-3 early in the second half but took their foot off the pedal to allow the visitors back into the game.

They held out to record an important win that boosts their chances of avoiding relegation, though.

‘This is a massive win for us and hopefully a kick-start for the important run-in to the end of the season,’ said Portsmouth captain Greg Houlihan.

‘After losing our previous five games it was vital we got back to winning ways.

‘We should have won by a lot more particularly after dominating the opening 25 minutes of the second half.

‘But after scoring another try we switched off to let them in for a try.

‘The last 15 minutes were a bit nervy.’

Andy Barnes grabbed two first-half tries and it looked plain sailing for the hosts when Dan Neville added a third early in the second half.

But it wouldn’t be Portsmouth if they didn’t do things the hard way.

Gosport & Fareham turned in a mature performance to win 30-10 at Twickenham in London two south west.

After trailing 10-7 at the break, the leaders hit back to win and grab a deserved bonus point.

‘Twickenham came at us from the start like a bull in a china shop,’ said assistant coach Scott Ashley.

‘We showed real guts and determination to push them back and in the second half we took our game to another level.

‘We were a lot more professional and clinical, attacking with depth and pace.’

Sam Foster grabbed Gosport’s first-half try and after the interval added a second and a drop goal.

Andy Vance and Sammy Speight also crossed the try line, while Alex Dunscome kicked the extra points.

United Services romped to a 58-15 win at basement side Lytchett Minster in Hampshire one.

Petersfield returned from Romsey with a convincing 38-8 win, while Fareham Heathens cruised to a 48-0 win over Fawley in Hampshire two.