Alton Rugby Club lost 42-14 at home to Portsmouth at Anstey Park after a dominant second-half performance from the visitors.
Alton started the game brightly in an even first half.
Cameron Hamer set the tone with a big hit in midfield closely followed by a fly kick into the Portsmouth in goal area as Portsmouth were forced to concede an early five-metre scrum. The set-piece was solid, and a simple move saw George Pantrey free Ed Thomas to score a simple try after only five minutes. Hamer added the conversion.
Portsmouth responded well, scoring a penalty immediately from the kick-off, and with Pantrey injured Portsmouth exploited their greater numbers on the wing to lead 10-7. Pantrey went off and Lewis New came on at scrum half.
After 21 minutes prop Tom Williams ran an intelligent line and took a well-timed pass from Hamer to score under the posts. Hamer added the extras.
Portsmouth then scored their second try on the right wing to lead 17-14 at half-time.
The visitors slowly took control in the second half.
Portsmouth probed left and right to eventually stretch their lead and run away with perhaps a slightly flattering margin of victory in the end.
Alton’s defensive effort was brave to the end, the scrum was even and there were some positives to be had after a much-improved performance.