Havant pay the penalty as late miss at Belsize Park sees lead at the top cut to two points

Will Owen grabbed a try for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland (22022020-1083)Will Owen grabbed a try for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland (22022020-1083)
Will Owen grabbed a try for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland (22022020-1083) | JPIMedia Resell
Havant missed a last-minute penalty as they slipped to a 17-16 London One South defeat at Belsize Park.

Joel Knight's kick drifted across the face of the posts and narrowly wide.

The defeat allowed Westcombe Park to cut Havant's lead at the top to two points with four games left to play.

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Senior coach Will Knight admitted it was a disappointing day all-round.

‘With their own pitch unfit, our hosts moved the game to Chiswick RFC,’ said Knight.

‘For some reason, we played on a third team pitch which was extremely narrow.

‘That meant there was very little space and everything was very congested.

‘It was all very unsettling.

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‘In my view, it was not a pitch good enough to be playing our standard of league rugby on.

‘Having said that, we can't make excuses and we didn't play particularly well.’

Belsize Park opened up a 14-point lead at the start through both a converted and penalty try.

The visitors hit back with a score of their own through Will Owen, who crashed over close to the goalline.

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Knight then added the conversion, making the score 14-7 after 20 minutes.

The Havant goal-kicker then fired over two penalties with the hosts replying with one of their own before half time.

Knight added another penalty 15 minutes into the second period to reduce the deficit to a point.

‘For the rest of the game we were camped in their half constantly hammering on their door,’ added Knight.

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‘They gave away penalty after penalty but in the wind it was difficult to kick at goal.

‘We kept going into the corners but couldn't find a way through.

‘Then we had the chance right at the death to win the game.

‘It was a tough day for all of us and one to learn from.

‘With a two-week break we now have time to reflect on it and make sure we get it right in the final four games.’

Havant resume their title bid against Horsham at Hooks Lane in three weeks time.

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