Mariners make it 3 from 3 with controlled win at Pompey
Portsmouth III 0 – Lymington Mariners 48
Lymington Mariners continued their fine start to the new season with a controlled display against a dogged Portsmouth side to run out winners without conceding.
Kicking off short with a lucky bounce and strong maul, Portsmouth must have thought they were in for an easy ride on Saturday afternoon but typical grit from Lymington soon showed them they would need more than a rolling maul to compete with the early league leaders. A knock on by a Pompey player set the Lymington pack up for a drive of their own, setting the scene for each scrum for the next 30 minutes until Pompey went uncontested under the Lymington pressure. Following the drive the backs were released and Harris and Brotherton combined to create space for Crisell to slice through the Pompey defence and touch down under the sticks making an easy conversion for himself. Portsmouth restarted and found that giving possession straight back to Lymington would be a theme of the afternoon. Wilcox gathered the ball and broke the line setting up the first of many phases. Porthsmouth contested well at the breakdown but Lymington were well organised, a knock on by Westall saw the Pompey pack rumble down the sideline ending with their hooker being dumped into touch by Cavell. Off the athletic lineout, Lymington again built the phases ending in a well-choreographed move where Phil Jenner actually passed the ball to set up twin Michael in the corner.
Possession came back to Lymington and the Portsmouth pack stood up for themselves, pressure on Westall told as he conceded a couple of scrums, Hoyles nicking one back 5m out having taken over hooking duties, a strong drive by Lymington saw them cross the whitewash with Dovey completing the formalities, Crisell added the extras. The rest of the half played out in similar style, Lymington running strongly against hard tackling opposition. The half ended with Lymington camped on Pompey’s line, Sullivan switching flanker duty for scrum-half made a nuisance of himself to find a gap and dart through taking a Pompey defender with him, the half ended 24 nil to Lymington
Coach Sievewright asked for 4 more scores at the half time break and Lymington didn’t disappoint. Kicking off the second half, Foot chased strongly getting under the ribs of the Pompey 10 just as he flung the ball sideways wildly, Westall collected the loose ball only to knock on again. As the scrums had gone uncontested towards the end of the first half, Pompey came away with the egg only for Foot to put in a customary bone cruncher and Dovey gathered and hopped off up field quick as a roo being chased by a bowman, a quick hand off followed by a dropped shoulder and then the strangest ‘head-off’ saw Dovey pass 3 and offload to the ever-supporting Rolfe who just fell short of the line, Rolfe popped the ball up for Toms to give the footballer at 10 another lesson and crash the ball over the line. Crisell duly converted.
Pompey switched tactics knowing that the Lymington pack would return with interest and aimed their kick off at Ryan who did just that, fully making 30 meters and leaving a trail of missed and slipped tackles in his wake, a beautifully weighted pass drew the last defender and Ryan set Michael Jenner free one again to touch down for a brace, Crisell adding the extras.
From the restart it was the other Jenner’s turn to have a run, this time in usual fashion keeping the ball with him, the footballer-10 put in a high tackle felling Jenner and as the two squared up the footballer did the only thing he knew how and aimed a kick at Jenner earning himself 10 minutes to work out which game he was meant to be playing. A catch and drive at the resulting lineout then saw the ball come back for Jenner to taste full revenge and crash through Pompey’s lines and bag a hat-trick for House Jenner. More toing and froing in midfield for the next 15 minutes as the game seemed to draw to a close, the Pompey 10 had one more moment of football madness as he tried to tell the referee his job, Lymington pushed it into the corner and with the last play drove the maul hard into the weary Pompey defenders, Hinman bravely using his head to cut down offside defenders allowing Dovey to pull the ball out his beard at the last minute to touch down.
A hard game and as the Mariners said, the best win of the season, sees Lymington firmly on top of Solent 2 with 3 wins from 3 starts, 173 points scored and 15 points conceded.
Lymington’s next game is at home on 21st October against Petersfield II, 3pm KO. New players always welcome, please bring a sense of humour.