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Ventnor RFC 2nd Team Hammer Portsmouth To Finish Season On Stunning High

Portsmouth’s 3rd XV travelled to Ventnor for the final game of the season - a game which would ultimately decide whether the Ventnor Lions squad would take home a silver or a bronze medal in their league.

A mighty 26 man squad was put forward to do battle with Portsmouth.

The scene was set with the final words of wisdom from Coach Neil Evans ringing in their ears and the players then stormed out the changing room, into the sunshine and onto the field of play.

From kick off, the Ventnor Lions looked sharp, finally finding that perfect form they had been chasing all season and after just two phases from the kick-off Steve Maskell made a line break, handing off two players and scoring an impressive opening try.

After the next kick, Jimmy Excell caught the ball and bulldozed his way through a sea of Portsmouth players - breaking his nose in the process.

Coach Neil saw that Portsmouth were starting to wither under the constant Ventnor pressure, but this was a key match and he needed to be ruthless and keep the pressure on - making a flurry of changes as the game progressed.

Chris Skelly, James Green, Brad Francis, Dean Magnurson and Nathan Frampton came into the forwards in the second half.

With that many fresh legs on at once, the impact was decisive with the pack working as one they crashed through the Portsmouth lines repeatedly, until Chris Skelly found a gap and ran through defenders like a charging bull to score a try.

In a heart-warming development, Alan Fox got a try in what Is rumoured to be his retirement game.

Neil Evans decided it was time for him to show he could walk the walk as well as talk the talk and he put himself in the centres with Greatorex.

The deadly duo made easy work of the defensive line and Neil run in his first try in a Ventnor shirt.

In the dying minutes of the game Portsmouth began throwing everything at Ventnor so Tristan Price was brought on to steady the ship and - with his experience in the set piece - managed to keep the pack from losing their collective concentration.

The final result was a decisive 75-0 win for the Island side.

This comprehensive victory means that Ventnor’s 2nd XV secured a fantastic runners-up position in Hampshire League 5.

Try scorers

  • Jack Rushton
  • Neil Evans
  • William Broomfield - 2
  • Steve Maskell
  • Alan Fox
  • Gavin Davis - 2
  • Chris Skelly
  • Layton Greatorex
  • Dan Muir


  • Warren Ritches - 8
  • Dan Muir
  • Harry Colson

Team: Rushton (capt), Excell, Ball, Parker, Morley, Pemberton, Colson, Broomfield, Harris, Ottley, G.Davis, Greatorex,
Maskell, Muir, W.Riches
Subs: Skelley, Francis, Castle, Gilbey, D.Magnurson, Gray, Green, Frampton, Wood, Brown
A J Wells Men of the Match: Harry Ottley
Red Funnel Moment of the Match: Layton Greatorex try

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