Photo Credit – Jess Edgcombe
PORTSMOUTH Dreadnoughts won an all-important grudge match as they look to keep their play-off hopes alive.
The Hook Lane outfit beat rivals Bournemouth Bobcats 39-0 at home on Sunday.
It is the first time the Dreadnoughts have beaten the Bobcats twice in a season with both teams wanting the win.
Head coach Luke Head-Rapson said: ‘I was pretty surprised at the result considering how close it was last time.
‘But our team has been better across the board and it all came together this week.
‘If the offence can drive the football then it gives the defence a rest which means they are more aggressive and can attack.
‘They can get turnovers in the back field which gives the offence a good position. It’s symbiotic.’
A strong partnership between quarterback Stu Rees and running back Patrick Kanyinda gave the Dreadnoughts an ideal start.
Kanyinda found the endzone from the two-yard line giving the Dreadnoughts a 6-0 lead.
Bournemouth tried to push up the field but the defence held firm to the end of the quarter. Shortly into the second quarter, the Dreadnoughts pulled further ahead.
A 10-yard pass from Rees found tight end Ash Mallaleiu in the endzone and the extra point was gained.
With a 13-0 lead, the Dreadnoughts pushed on and extended their lead when wide receiver Dan Thomas ran 68 yards to get another six points.
George Evans kicked the ball for the extra point making it 20-0.
An action-packed quarter continued with Evans scoring a field goal and there was just enough time on the clock for the Dreadnoughts to get their fourth touchdown.
A 17-yard pass from Rees found wide receiver John Cowen and the extra point was also scored leaving the game 30-0 at half time.
It did not take long for the Dreadnoughts to score again after the restart, this time from another Evans field goal before running back Arland Craik found the endzone after a hand-off from Rees.
The extra point was blocked making it 39-0.
The final quarter ended with neither team scoring, giving the Dreadnoughts their second shut out of the season.
They now have a three-week break before playing table-toppers Hertfordshire Cheetahs who they still have to play at home.
Head-Rapson knows they have to beat the Cheetahs at least once to get into the play-offs.
He added: ‘We needed four wins out of five and have our first two. We have another three games left and I like to think if we take one Hertfordshire game and the Hastings game then we would be in a guaranteed place for the play-offs.
‘Otherwise we might be taking our chances.
‘We have to continue to practice and play hard and work hard in the film sessions.
‘It will be tough because they are very good but if we play as well as we can and to our full capabilities then we are good match for anyone in the division.’