The 1st XV crashed to a seven-try defeat at Farnham yesterday when what looked like their strongest starting side of the season lost 44-21 and their lead over the bottom two teams in the table narrowed from 11 points to just seven writes Brian Seeney.

After losing their previous game at strugglers Effingham & Leatherhead 13-12, Farnham were quickly into their stride and lead 8-0 from a third minute penalty and a 12th minute try. But within three minutes Gos scored a converted try through flanker Max Page and the boot of fly half Alex Duncombe.

On 22 minutes Farnham's second try took it to 13-7 then Duncombe was unlucky when a long range penalty clattered an upright seven minutes later.

Two tries in three minutes, the first easy conversion missed and the second not so, gave Farnham a 25-7 lead after 39 minutes with skipper Wes Dugan narrowing that to 25-14 and Duncombe converting the try four minutes into first half time added on.

Any hopes of a Gos revival were destroyed by two converted tries in three minutes for 39-14 at the start of the second half and although Wes Dugan grabbed a second try again improved by Duncombe on 62 minutes, Farnham had the last word with a try within two minutes.

"I thought we had a really good side out this week having picked from strength and I was telling the boys that right up until the kick-off that they could go out and win this game. I was obviously wrong," admitted Head Coach Barry Bridgman.

"My optimism was off the mark. It was the best on paper but it wasn't the best on grass.

"The first half was dire.

"We allowed them to do too much in the first half. Our tackling was poor at times with phases of bouncing off people and unfortunately they took full advantage every time we made a mistake.

Farnh WesTry WEB

Wes Dugan scores one of his two tries at Farnham yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts.

"At half time we told the guys they needed to sort the scrum out and after that it worked much better. That was pleasing and the lineout was a little bit better.

"But our first half was quite poor.

"They thoroughly deserved their win and seven tries because they took advantage of our poor play.

"Our players lost momentum in the first half because they kept on moaning and groaning to one another about the referee instead of concentrating on what they should have been doing which was concentrating on Farnham.

"The sorry story of the first half was that we kept going backwards all of the time. We missed a lot of tackles and dropped far too much ball.

"I was hoping we would get a bonus point and I thought we might but the way the afternoon was going we weren't going to.

"We thought we were getting better but on that performance we've got worse."

After a week's break, Gos will next face Andover who lost at home improving Effingham & Leatherhead 17-44 yesterday.

Bottom side Eastleigh won at KCS Old Boys 12-15 with now next to bottom Winchester humbled 8-24 at Old Tonbridgians, leaving Gos uncomfortably closer to those two relegation places.

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