THE Hurricanes climbed one giant step closer to promotion and the Counties 2 Hampshire title after a battling victory over a gritty United Services Portsmouth outfit in their final home fixture of a superb season.


Battling hard against a team fourth in the league, it was not an easy afternoon for Sandown and Shanklin.

Following an early opportunity to pull ahead, the visitors scored the opening try in a surprising twist.

However, an incredible line break from their man of the match and captain, Jacob Jordan, established the Hurricanes’ competitive presence on the Portsmouth 5m line.

Shortly after, Michael Barrett charged through to score, with Anthony Burr making up for an early error by converting to level the scores.

Determination did not waver from the Portsmouth pack, creating a continual headache for the Hurricanes.

Finding themselves penned in their 22 in difficult weather conditions, the Hurries struggled to break free — conceding penalties to subsequently trail 13-7.

As time in the first half dwindled, the Hurricanes proved their worth through their typically sound handling skills.

Triggered by an attack, Ash Smith was set up to zoom along the touchline, and his decisive inside pass found Zac Chiverton, who scored, enabling Burr's second conversion, for a lead of 14-13 at half-time.

The Hurricanes raised their game in the second half — building effectively on their slim advantage, and extending the score to 21-13, thanks to Luke Wedderkop.

The all-important fourth try came from another impressive Chiverton sprint, along with the winning final score, executed during the final seconds of an exhilarating match.

After Tom Marriott retrieved the loose ball following a scrum turnover, Sam Flux assisted in a successful pass to Burr for a try of his own.

Wrapping up the Hurricanes' final home fixture, Burr successfully completed a perfect set of conversions.

The future is indeed promising for the Hurricanes, with one match remaining — needing only one more victory to secure promotion and the league title.

However, the Hurricanes' director of rugby, Damien Marriott, remained grounded.

Afterwards, he said: "After a very slow start, we made tough work of this fixture. However, in the second half, the boys really stepped up and now we can turn our attention to the final game of the season."