Beaten by their betters
- Sunday, 02 April 2017
The 1st XV were "beaten by the better team" said Head Coach Barry Bridgman after they lost 5-52 in yesterday's penultimate home game of the season against promotion play-off chasers Tunbridge Wells writes Brian Seeney.
As a contest it was over inside 18 minutes when Wells ran in their fourth try having scored their first after only four minutes then again after 10 and 13 minutes, three of the four converted.
"I thought the first 20 minutes was absolutely awful and I told them that at half-time," said Bridgman.
"But I've just told them now that I'm really proud of them because in the following 60 minutes I thought we really dug in and we managed to sneak a try at the end which was good.
"I'm very proud of the way we played in the last 60 minutes of the match."
It wasn't until two minutes into the second half that Wells got their fifth try. They scored two more after 62 and 69 minutes and the final one with two minutes to go, three converted.
But the never-say-die attitude of the entire Gos team culminated in skipper Wes Dugan's try in the 71st minute as they deservedly avoided a nil scoreline.
Gos were beaten 97-5 at Tunbridge Wells back in December in what has so far been their biggest defeat of the season when they couldn't even take a full squad to Kent and lost stand-in fly half Tom Lewis after only 30 seconds.
Wes Dugan scoring a consolation try for Gos yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery later.
"We halved the score we lost by last time and that's good news. It means we've improved," said Bridgman.
"We played a top three side today and played well enough to restrict them to a 47 point difference whereas in the game up there and in other games this season we've shipped 70-80 points.
"We showed grit and determination not to give up and were still tackling back right at the end of the game saving what was almost a certain try until Tom (Lewis) stopped it with the rest of the boys getting back there and doing very well to kill off the support.
"I felt we did very well after going 26-0 down. We could have folded completely because it was job done for them because they had already got the bonus point they needed.
"I think our scrum went well and that's two weeks running that's happened.
"At the end they probably weren't concentrating and we destroyed their scrum and won a penalty. I thought our forwards were awesome a lot of the time.
"But in the end we were beaten by a better team although the scoreline could have been little bit better. Overall they were fitter."
A 33-31 defeat at Cobham means Havant are just three points ahead of Tunbridge Wells in the promotion play-off battle which looks like it will go down to the final Saturday of the season when Havant finish at champions Sidcup.
At the other end of the table, both Brighton and Chiswick won so who joins Gos and Dover as the relegated sides will be decided next Saturday because Brighton have an eight point lead over Chiswick with two games left.