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Skipper Morgan facing long spell on sidelines
2:39pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 in Andover
United Services 20 Andover 11 ANDOVER suffered a huge double blow, surrendering their unbeaten start to the Hampshire 1 season and losing inspirational skipper Alex Morgan to a nasty injury in the process.
Morgan will be out for at least three months after fully dislocating his shoulder in the first half.
And, although they battled hard, it was a blow too many for the Oakwood-sponsored All Blacks.
US Portsmouth were the best side Andover have faced and, by their own admission, the strongest as well.
Yet Andover could still have won, and were in the end masters of their own downfall.
For the second long away game in a row, Andover struggled to get a squad together and having just one replacement on the bench cost them dear.
Andover were ten points down for most of the first half and, as Morgan left the field in an ambulance, things did not look good.
But admirably led by Marc Wilding, having his first run of the season, the huge pack clawed their way back into the game.
Andover spurned a couple of guilt-edged chances, but just before the break scored a pushover try by Paul Tuinasakea.
Services hit back with a penalty, however, to lead 13-5 at half-time.
In the second half Andover dominated for long periods and Sam Froggett was outstanding and Kieran Jenvey, another making a return to first team action, almost powered over, as did Nick Reed and Tuinasakea.
US clung on as Andover came to within two points after two Elliott Copestake penalties, but some wrong options in attack meant the home team held out.
The game was then turned on its head when, in a rare break, the US prop was held short of the line. The referee still awarded a try, though, despite being behind the incident.