As it was in the beginning...
Sunday, 23 April 2017
The 1st XV's season ended as it began with a defeat against Sevenoaks when they lost 19-41 at Gosport Park yesterday by throwing away a 19-12 half-time lead having scored three excellent tries writes Brian Seeney.
It looked like Gos had saved their best till last in this final game of the season after a first half in which they played better in the first period than they have at any point this season.
The "Might Oaks" were rocked and Gos supporters shocked that their side took a fourth minute lead - only once have they scored as quickly this season and that was at home to Cobham in mid-February.
From early pressure, wing Kieran Darrington ran a great line after fellow winger Ian White had been held up over the Oaks line.
Within five minutes Oaks took the lead 5-7 but on 16 minutes Gos were back in front when flanker Tim Snowden's sweet pop pass to Dan Gamblin sent the prop over for the second Gos try which centre Wayne Dugan converted.
Oaks then lost a man to yellow after 23 minutes and five minutes later a prop to red for a punch right in front of referee Simon Aldridge which the official couldn't ignore.
Surprisingly, when back to 14 men on the field, Oaks drew level at 12-12 on 38 minutes before Gos restored their advantage to 19-12 on the stroke of half-time with a tap and go try from skipper Wes Dugan.
Full back Joe Collard converted because by this time Wayne Dugan was on his way to the emergency dentist with a front tooth hanging out more than it was in...
What followed was a complete Gos collapse as Oaks scored five tries after 49, 53 (converted), 62, 77 and 79 minutes (converted).
Kieran's Darrington scores the first Gos try. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery later.
"I'm very disappointed that we played 14 men for a whole half and a bit and we conceded all those tries," said Head Coach Barry Bridgman.
"I'm just so disappointed that we lost and we shipped 29 points when we were up at half-time like that. We lost because we stopped playing.
"We didn't work out what we should have been doing when they had a seven man scrum on their ball. We should have been playing seven against them and dropping an extra man into our back line because we knew their backs were good and it would have given us an extra tackle.
"I thought we gave away penalties that we shouldn't have given away, we gave position away and we gave possession away. It was just dreadful in the second half.
"It was a real shambles after I told them at half-time you need to keep it going, it's in your hands and you need to keep doing what you've been doing and that was throwing the ball about.
"But in the second half we never ran the ball once and continued to bash it up through the forwards and it was getting us absolutely nowhere.
"We lost Wayne (Dugan) who was a threat to them because they had to man-mark him mostly with two (players) which was opening up space and we took that space and we scored tries.
"Fair play to them they knew what they had to do which was ship the ball to their back line and run at us and they did it really well. Early on in the second half they picked out the people to run at who were susceptible to that and we got sucked in and the tackles weren't going in and they were around the outside. They battered us and were in every time.
"I'm gutted with that finish and am so disappointed because we were really there or thereabouts at half-time."
The end is nigh...
Friday, 21 April 2017
The 1st XV play their last match of this relegation season when they welcome Sevenoaks to Gosport Park tomorrow (3pm) in a game that Head Coach Barry Bridgman says is a "bit of a chance for redemption" writes Brian Seeney.
"Some of the players mentioned that last night at training because they were disappointed in the way that they played last time at Maidstone (losing 89-10) and I think they felt that they let Wes (Dugan) down as well because he played so well," said Bridgman.
"I think they will bring that with them tomorrow. The talk is that way so let's hope the talk is walked.
"It's all to play for for us. I think it is an opportunity to set things straight after a very disappointing game at Maidstone. I thought we were pretty poor and were well below par as players.
"You have to be honest about it and sometimes you have to be more so. At times even though it is an amateur game for the players and we are an amateur club with players who play for fun, sometimes the players need to know what they looked like from the sidelines and that's how I felt."
In the opening match of the campaign last September at Sevenoaks, Gos lost 0-47 and whilst at the moment they will be relegated as the bottom side in London 1 South, along with Dover and Chiswick, Sevenoaks, who gained promotion to London 1 South this season, have finished a creditable mid-table seventh, 37 points clear of the bottom three relegation slots at the moment.
"Sevenoaks have done very well indeed and I think it will depend a lot on whether they fancy the trip down here and they bring a decent team or whether some of the players have thought it's a long tip I'm not going to bother.
"I expect it will be the former. I don't think they will rock up with a weakened team. I think they will be the best they can be and we have just got to pull our 'A' game out.
"We've got to get here and not think it is just the last game of the season.
"We've got to be thinking that this is a chance to get off the bottom of the table if Dover, who are only one point ahead of us, lose and we get a few points.
"So there are things to play for - it's not just the last game.
"It would be nice to get off the bottom and give everybody - the team and the supporters - a fillip with a win tomorrow".
Tunbridge Wells are hoping to take the promotion play-off place from Havant who are three points ahead and away to champions Sidcup.
Centre Joe Traynor and second row Simon Trivett are recalled tomorrow with Tim Snowden moving to no. 6, Ben Roberts to no. 8 and Kieran Darrington to the wing.
There are over 100 attending the Match Day Lunch tomorrow when proceeds from the Blackout and a Bucket Collection will be in aid of 'Kicking Cancer for Charlie'.
Charlie is a seven year old with a rare and life-threatening type of Leukaemia yet despite this, he wants to raise money for other young cancer sufferers.
Also playing tomorrow is a combined Gos 2nd and 3rd XV who host Tottonians 3s in a friendly (3pm).
Gos 1st XV:
15 Joe Collard
14 Ian White
13 Wayne Dugan
12 Joe Traynor
11 Kieran Darrington
10 Kieran McRoberts
9 Wes Dugan (Captain)
8 Ben Roberts
7 Will Larkin
6 Tim Snowden
5 Max Page
4 Simon Trivett
3 Nathan Titchener
2 Jimmy Wallis
1 Dan Gamblin
16 Tom Lillicrap
17 Anthony Reynolds
18 Neil McRoberts