Saturday 19th February 1983 United Services Portsmouth v Plymouth Albion.
Albion should be in no mood for complacency when they play United Services who are unbeaten since Christmas and enjoying the best period of their centenary season and, Albion, having lost only once to the Servicemen in six matches there was the prospect of an attractive confrontation. Ben Cundy, whose last 1st XV appearance was against Public School Wanderers on 1st September is given another chance to impress and replaces Simon Gibbens, Albion’s only other change is the return of Steve Hughes at No8 in place of Sean “Stack” Stevens.
Albion’s overwhelming possession and territorial supremacy were eventually converted into match-winning points. Two tries in the last five minutes gave Albion an emphatic victory. Services were never able to master Albion’s strength although they resisted bravely under severe pressure. Albion found themselves three points down after 13 minutes when former Devonport Services Player, Gerry Price landed a 40-yard penalty. But three minutes later Albion fullback Kevin Turton landed an equalising penalty from 25 yards.
Turton was instrumental in Albion taking the lead after 24 minutes when he joined a fine move among the threequarters to set up a try for wing Ray Westlake, which Turton failed to convert. Leading by 7pts to 3 at half-time. Albion made certain of victory in the second half with three tries as Services wilted. The first of these came midway through the second period when No8 Steve Hughes burst through for a try which Turton converted. Three minutes later Price narrowed the gap with his second penalty of the afternoon, but it was a rare excursion into the Albion half. But with 5 minutes remaining Albion scored 2 quick tries to make their margin of victory more in keeping with their supremacy, leaving the final score in favour of Albion 6pts to 21pts.
Albion. 15 K. Turton 14 R. Westlake 13. B. Cundy. 12. S.Parford. 11. M. Newton. 10. S. Gibbens. 9. K.Cornwall. 8. S. Hughes. 7. A.Robson. 6. S.Harding. 5. T.Chapman. 4. G.Lovell. 3. B.Steer. 2. D.Fuge. 1. C.Hocking. Replacements 16. Meakin. 17. Sneyd.