McRoberts endures sorry Gosport goodbye

Outgoing Gosport & Fareham coach Neil McRoberts Picture: Sarah Standing

Gosport & Fareham gave coach Neil McRoberts a disappointing send off as they crashed to an 81-19 London one south home defeat against Chobham.

After three years in charge McRoberts has made the decision to stand down, although the club has yet to name his successor at Gosport Park.

‘I feel the time is right for me to step aside,’ said McRoberts.

‘It has been a challenge taking the side into London one south and keeping them there.

‘There is a massive gulf between London two south west and this level which is an unforgiving league.

‘When we have been able to field or strongest teams, we have shown that we can be more than competitive at this level.

‘Unfortunately, this season we have only been in a position to do that a couple of times.

‘Losing heavily to Chobham is not the best way to finish.

‘But I prefer to ignore this and focus on what has been an enjoyable two to three years.

‘The big challenge for whoever comes in is to get a greater consistency of player availability.

‘There are enough players with the quality already at the club it is a case of getting them out on the pitch together on a more regular basis.’

Though Gosport finished in the bottom three they already knew that the Rugby Football Union’s decision to relegate Medway had granted them a reprieve.

The Kent club had been found guilty of registration irregularities in signing players earlier in the season.

Chobham proved far too strong for the home side and once they amassed early points a heavy defeat was always on the cards.

The visitors opened up with their first try after just 80 seconds.

By half-time a dominant Chobham side had built up an insurmountable 48-12 lead.

Wing-forward Anthony Reynolds and scrum half Levi Hui Hui offered brief resistance, notching the home tries with Sam Foster adding a conversion.

Foster also converted a Tim Snowden try early in the second half but the rampant visitors went on to score a further five touchdowns of their own.

Fareham Heathens had to settle for a third-place finish in Hampshire one after finishing with a 31-5 reverse at champions Millbrook.

That’s after Bernie Rhodes’ side ended the season with successive defeats, with Bognor claiming second spot.

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