The 1st XV beat Effingham & Leatherhead 29-22 yesterday to end their relegation worries in style by scoring five tries in their best display and last appearance at Gosport Park this season writes Brian Seeney.

Gos didn't need results elsewhere to help them keep their place in London 2 South West division next season whilst the visiting Eagles grabbed the points they needed as well to stay up.

It has been a remarkable recovery for the Eagles who have hauled themselves off the bottom of the table with only one defeat to champions Camberley in the second half of the season.

"That'll do very nicely," said a delighted and smiling Head Coach Barry Bridgman after Gos had scored five tries for the second time this season at home.

"The start was a little bit worrying and we were very lucky not to concede an early try but after that everything seemed to go right and I honestly felt we could have scored five or six more tries.

"For a spectacle it was a great game and Effingham played their part. If you were a neutral you would have really enjoyed the game today.

"It's just marvellous that we have managed to keep ourselves in this division handsomely with a five point win.

"Effingham also got the points they needed. This is a tremendous result for us as they have lost just once in 2018.

"The win was thoroughly deserved. We showed stacks of heart and really took it to Effingham."

 Eff BatleyTryWEB 

Tom Batley sets Gos on the way to the win they needed with his side's first try. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery now.

Gos lead 12-5 at half time after a frantic five minutes when first flanker Tom Batley forced his way through the Eagles defence on 17 minutes and skipper Wes Dugan got a second try within two minutes which centre Tom Lewis converted.

On 22 minutes the first Eagles try took it to 12-5 but there was lots more to come after the break.

Nerves might have been frayed amongst the Gos fans as the Eagles scored within six minutes of the restart for 12-10 but full back Wayne Dugan steadied the Gos ship with a third try and then after the Eagles lost a man to a yellow card, Gos cut loose and took full advantage.

On 61 minutes replacement wing Kieran Darrington grabbed the all important fourth try then three minutes later centre Dom Holling intercepted and just won the foot race to the try line from inside his own half, with fly half Sam Foster converting from wide out.

In the final 12 minutes, the Eagles upped their game with a try on 70 minutes and another which was converted two minutes into time added on which gave them the two bonus points that were enough to avoid relegation.

Gos had done enough and with the pressure lifted, the celebrations began...

The fate of the remaining relegated team hangs in the balance for Andover and Old Tonbridgians. Who goes down will be decided next weekend as only three points separate the two, with Andover home to Farnham and Old Tonbridgians at home to Twickenham.

Gos are at relegated Winchester next Saturday and their season ends in a fortnight's time at champions Camberley in the rearranged game snowed off by the 'Beast from the East' back in early March.

"We didn't want to be going to Winchester needing points to stay up and certainly didn't want to be in the position where we needed something at Camberley," said Bridgman.

"Now we can relax because there's no pressure on us at Winchester or Camberley because we have done what we needed to do to avoid relegation and I'm really pleased about that."

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