Gosport & Fareham will do everything in their power to achieve remarkable escape

It is a long shot but Gosport & Fareham are aiming for a dramatic final-day escape when they face Old Emanuel at Gosport Park on Saturday (3pm).

By kevin.ricketts1
Friday, 5th April 2019, 2:44 pm
Kieran McRoberts is ruled out. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Kieran McRoberts is ruled out. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The prospects of avoiding the drop from London two south west look grim.

They need a bonus-point win to give themselves any chance of staying up.

Then they must rely on Twickenham beating their relegation rivals London Exiles and restricting them to no more than a single bonus point.

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Though four points behind the Exiles, Gosport possess a better win ratio against them.

The Blue & Golds know it is a long-shot but they are determined to do all they can to try and make it happen.

They will need great backing to help them get over the line.

Head coach George Hillan said: ‘We need a big crowd to come and get behind us and act as 16th man.

‘That could give us the added energy to achieve our goals.’

Sean Shepherd and Dean McNaught, who fractured his jaw at Effingham, are ruled out by injury.

Kieran McRoberts, Luke Darrington and Dan Turner are unavailable.

Fareham Heathens host Gosport & Fareham seconds in their final Hampshire premier game of the season.

Player coach Dave Wheaton wants his side to end the season on a winning note.

He said: ‘In many ways it has been a tough season for us.

‘Losing key players to injury and poor availability in February and March has hit us hard.

‘The result was a dip in performance levels.

‘Although the fight and spirit has always been there, quite often we have lacked the cohesion needed in a winning side.

‘I am looking for a good all-round performance in preparation for our Hampshire plate final against Alton next weekend.’

Wheaton is hoping James Gardner will be fit to return from a nasty knee injury which has kept him out for nearly five weeks.

His hard tackling and strong running lines have been missed.

In the forwards Jack Orley starts at hooker and James Lee at blindside wing forward.

Steve Devoy joins Kris Owens at outside centre in the absence of injured Bobby Impey.

Ted Mata moves to the wing and Jashan Solanki makes a welcome return at full-back after injury.