A strong, well-drilled Portsmouth team reminded the Cheetahs that is truly the business end of the season when they visited on Sunday. In a topsy-turvy game in which the away side held a narrow lead at halftime, the Dreadnoughts ultimately ended up winning by two scores.
The Dreadnoughts got on the board first via a blown coverage, before touchdowns from receivers Rowan Huggins and TJ Ajayi gave the Cheetahs a 12-10 lead into halftime. Unfortunately the Offence was unable to consistently move the ball in the second half, giving the Dreadnoughts the time they needed to execute their well-honed power run game. The D were worn down during the 3rd Quarter and succumbed to two quick scores which ultimately proved decisive. The Offence had a few chances to respond but, poor field position, costly penalties and some mishaps in execution meant they failed to claw their way back into the game. In truth, the Cheetahs as a whole will need to perform to the higher standards of which they are capable when they welcome Portsmouth to St Albans in 2 weeks time.
Head Coach Craig Barnes is moving onto the home leg. “When all is said and done, we just weren’t good enough. We allowed Portsmouth’s tactics to affect us, and we plainly didn’t play well enough in the second half. We are already planning for the return. We will be better”.
Offensive Coordinator Will Sparke reflected on a “tough game both mentally and physically. Portsmouth were able to frustrate us in the second half and we made some key mistakes on offence resulting in several missed opportunities. We are looking to learn from the experience and to be blunt we are really looking forward to getting our hands on them again.”