Joel Knight marks Havant double century with 22-point haul in resounding win over Beckenham
Havant heralded the start of the new year with a powerful 57-17 London One South win against Beckenham at Hooks Lane.
The home side overpowered their Kent visitors, running in nine tries.
Joel Knight, who was celebrating his 200th league appearance for Havant, weighed in with 22 points, including two tries.
Senior coach Will Knight was delighted with the way his team reacted to their disappointing defeat at Chichester before Christmas.
‘It was important that we started well after the break particularly after losing our last game,’ said Knight.
‘All teams are going to have setbacks at some stage.
‘It is how you deal with them that is most important.
‘We looked like a team out there determined to put a few things right.
‘Although there were a lot of great bits of individual play, overall, it was an excellent team performance.
‘The forwards laid the foundations to unleash our quality strike runners.
‘Beckenham found it difficult to deal with when we did that.
‘There is a lot of competition for places and players know they have to play well to keep the shirt.’
The visitors scored first with an early penalty, but it wasn't long before the home side started to impose themselves.
Converted tries from Scott Morris and Joe Moore soon opened up a 14-3 lead.
The Havant captain then scored the first of his two tries, cleverly side-stepping three defenders to score before adding the conversion.
By half-time, the home side had established a 33-3 lead with further tries from Moore and Morris.
Earlier in the season at Beckenham, Havant had gone close to throwing away a similar lead.
Conscious of this, the home side struck again 20 seconds into the second half through Jerome Trail.
At no stage did the hosts let things slip, despite collecting two yellow cards.
Dan Munden scored from the back of a scrummage and Knight added another excellent individual try.
Sean Shepherd rounded things off with the home side's ninth try.
‘That puts us a point behind leaders Westcombe Park,’ said Knight.
‘We are not in a bad place at the moment.
‘Importantly, we have opened up an eight-point gap on the teams immediately below us.
‘There is all to play for and I am convinced there are still a lot of twists and turns to come in this league.’