Havant survive 'arm wrestle' challenge to maintain 100 per cent London One South record

Havant survived a second half fightback to maintain their hundred per cent record with a 39-34 London One South win at Beckenham.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 4:42 pm
Jerome Trail was among Havant's scorers against Beckenham

Will Knight's side were cruising 31-6 ahead at the break but the hosts emerged stronger in the second half.

In a game that became increasingly tetchy, both teams had a player red carded near the end.

Knight felt it was a patchy performance that allowed Beckenham to get back into the game.

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'We built up a big lead in the opening 40 minutes but then we stopped playing,' said Knight.

'In the second half it became a different type of battle and it ended up a close game.

'We allowed ourselves to get involved in a bit of an arm wrestle.

'Beckenham played a limited game, smashing the ball up the middle.

'It got a little unpleasant and five minutes from the end we had Joel Knight sent off along with one of their players.'

Havant scored five tries in a powerful first-half display.

Ed Wilkes claimed the first after six minutes getting on the end of a backs move to score in the right hand corner.

Hooker Jerome Trail soon added a second with the home side knocking over two penalties in reply.

Havant remained on top and added three more tries before the interval.

Rory Penfold claimed two, the first after regathering his own chip ahead.

Inside centre Joe Moore claimed the other following an incisive break by Joel Knight.

It all changed at the start of the second half as Beckenham scored within three minutes to give them renewed vigour.

Richie Janes added another Havant try but a minute from the end Beckenham clawed the deficit back to two points.

Jake Reynolds knocked over a penalty to seal the Havant win.

'So far we have played in fits and starts,' said Knight.

'We have taken our foot off the gas after building up good leads.

'This is an area we will improve upon.

' The challenge is to put opponents to bed when we get the chance.

'We have taken a maximum 15 points from our first three games without being at our best for 80 minutes.

'This has to be encouraging.'