Isle of Wight II 17 Portsmouth IV/Vets 33
Following last weekend’s heroic victory over Ventnor the Isle of Wight approached their fixture with Portsmouth IV with confidence. The Island’s confidence was quickly dealt a blow upon discovery that they would not be facing Portsmouth IV but the formidable Portsmouth Vets team.
The Island started the game brightly with some free flowing rugby but were unable to make it count; Portsmouth were first to strike with two converted breakaway tries to take an early 14-0 lead. The Island did manage to get on the scoreboard thanks to a storming run by number 8 Alex Smith. Portsmouth again quickly responded with another converted try to make the score 21-5 at the break.
During the halftime interval the Island made some changes to their line-up including debuts for new players Rob Dalling and Australian Greg Hume.
Portsmouth were first to register again in the second half where their large and vastly experienced pack drove over from close range taking their lead to 28-5. Things were looking ominous for the Island at this stage – however they rallied to finally start playing some running rugby and threaten the Portsmouth defence. Following another battering break by man of the match Tom Turtle from full back, space was opened up for returning player James Horton to break away and score out wide. Dan Taylor converted, taking the score to 28-12.
The Island now sensed another comeback on the cards and were soon in the Portsmouth half; this time following a number of phases it was the hard working second row Neil Harrison who was on hand to score out wide reducing the deficit to 11 points with ten minutes remaining. The Island continued to press the stout Portsmouth defence but could not find a way through. The Portsmouth side then influenced proceeding drawing on their experience thus slowing down the Island attack at the breakdown and eventually turned over possession for their flying centre to break away and score the final try of the contest.
IW: T Turtle, D Greaves, J Horton, S McQueen, G Sabin, A James, C Cansdale, J Bishop, L Murray, C Cotter, R Dalling, A Smith, M Aubert, N Harrison, G Smith, T Greedy, G Hume, J Willetts, T Love, D Taylor, J Wynyard-Wright.