Top Marks for Havant after excellent response

Luke Marks was on the mark for Havant

Luke Marks was on the mark for Havant

Dan Sargent scores for Hampshire against Warwickshire. Picture: Keith Woodland (17064-492)

Hampshire heroes seal return to Twickers

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Havant made sure they went into the Christmas break on a high with a dramatic 27-26 London one south win over Medway at Hooks Lane.

The large home crowd were treated to a thriller.

Havant went over for the winning score with the final play of the game.

Man-of-the-match Luke Marks proved the hero as he slipped off the side of a driving maul to power his way over the line.

After the disappointment of the derby defeat at Gosport & Fareham it was a massively important win for Havant.

Havant coach Will Knight felt he got exactly the response he needed from his players.

‘It was a fantastic performance from everyone involved,’ said Knight.

‘I asked for a response after the Gosport shambles and the players provided one.

‘For the neutral it was a fantastic game but for us coaches it was a real nail-biter.

‘A number of times during the game we thought we had it won but Medway kept coming back at us.

‘Even when they got their noses in front late in the game I still felt we would do it.

‘In the end it was a case of us against the clock and we just made it.’

Havant made a dream start, scoring almost straight from the kick-off with winger Scott Morris scoring a great try converted by Joel Knight.

The hosts added a second converted try soon afterwards putting them 14-0 ahead after 25 minutes.

It proved to be a ding-dong affair though and Medway hit back with two converted tries of their own.

Havant led 17-14 at the break courtesy of a Knight dropped goal.

‘In the context of events that was to prove a crucial decision later on,’ said Knight.

After the break Gav Hart benefited from some controlled line-out drives which allowed him to stretch the Havant lead once again.

Two tries in as many minutes by the battling visitors threatened to snatch the game away from Havant.

They went into the last 10 minutes trailing 26-22 with it all to do.

Knight’s team applied tremendous pressure.

But it looked like they would run out of time.

The desperate Medway defence saw them have two players sin-binned and Havant finally squeezed over for the winning try.

‘I am delighted for the players,’ said Knight.

‘After the lows of Gosport last week this was a great day.

‘We needed to be much better and the players produced the goods.

‘At Gosport we only played to a fraction of our potential and this was much more of what we are capable of.

Havant start the new year with a Hampshire Cup tie against Winchester on Saturday, January 2.

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