Services eye county crown

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Portsmouth are in Vase action

‘Heart and desire’ can bring Portsmouth closer to Twickenham

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United Services moved into the semi-finals of the Hampshire Plate with a 33-29 win over the Isle of Wight at Burnaby Road.

Though promotion from Hampshire one is beyond them, Simon Burns’ men are still eyeing the prospect of lifting silverware at the end of the season.

‘It was a good game played in a tremendous spirit,’ said the head coach.

‘Credit must go to both teams for that.

‘We now face a tough semi-final at Millbrook, which gives us the chance to avenge our two league defeats at their hands. On our day we can beat anyone and it would be good to finish the season by winning the competition.’

Services started the game playing against the elements and within five minutes outside-half Andy Webster split the visiting defence.

His superb miss-pass put James McAvoy through the gap to score under the posts, with Webster adding the conversion.

Services continued to dominate and by half-time had stretched their lead to 20-8 thanks to a try from replacement prop Ali Randall and a further two penalties and conversion by Webster.

The Isle of Wight started the second half stronger, though, and they soon pegged Services back to 20-15 with a converted try.

This stung the home side back into action and in the 55th minute, winger Jack Brawn went over unopposed for a try in the corner.

Another Webster penalty stretched Services’ lead to 30-15 but still Isle of Wight refused to give up.

Webster kicked a penalty only for two converted tries by the visitors to leave Services clinging on in the closing stages.