The 1st XV left it late to clinch victory in their opening game of the new season against Winchester with an extra-time try to win 15-12 at Gosport Park yesterday writes Brian Seeney.

Trailing 3-9 at half-time and 10-12 to the visitors' fourth penalty a minute from the end of normal time, it was two minutes into time added on when Gos regained the lead and won the match.

Captain Wes Dugan, who had scored his side's first try which fly half Alex Duncombe converted, had put Gos 10-9 up and ahead for the first time in the game after 65 minutes.

It was Dugan's delightful chip kick over the top that lead to the winning try. The scrum half was clearly impeded as he chased to score his second but with the aid of an awkward bounce, number eight Tim Snowden touched down and three minutes later Gos had their first win of the new season in the bag.

"In fairness to Winchester we had a little bit of luck with the bounce for both tries if I'm honest and they will probably be a little bit aggrieved, but the rugby ball is the shape it is and will do that, "said Interim Head Coach Simon Pickett.

"I think Wes would have got the second try because it bounced up for him and he was clearly obstructed trying to get to it. When he was taken out, Tim got on the end of it thankfully.

"I don't think we played particularly well today but the lads have put in some serious work over the summer and they didn't deserve to be on the wrong end of a result.

"We certainly didn't play to our full potential but we stuck in there losing 3-9 at half time in probably a 15 point wind which shows how well the boys dug in the second half.

WesTry Winch

Try time for Wes Dugan yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery shortly.

"We didn't do very well with the referee in the first 20 minutes but I felt if we could get him on our side and stop pushing the offside line and stop getting our hands in the ruck then the referee would come across to our way of thinking. That's what happened and I was happy about that.

"I don't think we defended that great to be honest but they didn't look like they could create much at all.

"We dug in there and stuck to task. Rugby is a results' driven game and although that was squeaky bum W it was a W.

"This sets the tone especially to win in that manner in a quite tight game when we had to go search for that try at the end."

Gos were 0-6 down inside 10 minutes but Duncombe's 24th minute penalty importantly kept them in touch after a yellow card for Gos hooker Sean Shepherd after 14 minutes and repeated offences in the red zone resulting in Winchester receiving a yellow on 35 minutes.

Snowden was carded a minute into the second half and on the hour Winchester were in the bin again.

Within five minutes of that second binning, Gos had taken advantage of the 14 men through Dugan's try and a fine Duncombe conversion from the touchline.

Heads could easily have fallen when Winchester's fourth penalty put them back in front at 10-12 but they didn't and in the end it was a deserved first win in London 2 South West division for the home side.

It was a 100% winning day for the Club as the 2nd XV (Vikings) opened their campaign in the Hampshire Snows Solent 1 Division with a 49-0 win over Andover 2s with Alex Cooksley scoring four tries.

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