Gosport ‘back in business’ after fine win

2/2/13      ''Gosport and Fareham V Cobham rugby action. Pictured is Gosport's Tom Lewis right celebrating a try''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (13285-8)
2/2/13 ''Gosport and Fareham V Cobham rugby action. Pictured is Gosport's Tom Lewis right celebrating a try''Picture: Paul Jacobs (13285-8)
Hawks striker Jason Prior celebrates hitting the target for the first time since November. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181103-1)

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Gosport & Fareham reignited their London one south survival ambitions with an impressive 25-10 win over Cobham at Gosport Park.

The bonus-point victory saw Gosport cut the gap to nine points to rivals Havant who were beaten 22-12 at Dover.

Gosport were under pressure going into the contest.

They knew nothing less than a win would do the trick in their efforts to launch a push for survival.

‘We are back in business after producing a great team performance,’ said head coach Scott Ashley.

‘There has always been a belief at the club that we are good enough to survive at this level.

‘We showed a step change in attitude and rediscovered the intensity and quality of last season.

‘This win will have Havant looking nervously over their shoulders and quite rightly, too.

‘The pressure was on but every single one of our players stepped up to the plate.

‘We should have won by another 15 to 20 points.’

The home side got off to the perfect start with young winger Tom Lewis scoring a fine individual try.

The talent, who has progressed through the club’s colts, received the ball on halfway and beat two men before racing in to score.

Cobham hit back with a penalty and converted try to lead 10-5 midway through the first half.

But Gosport were in no mood to relinquish the opportunity to fire up their survival charge.

A try from prop forward Dai Whitehead was converted by Josh Whitehead to put them back ahead.

In the second half, Gosport stretched away with further tries from Wayne Dugan and Dave Cleary, with Josh Whitehead also kicking another penalty.

‘Cobham are an important scalp for us because they are a good off-loading team,’ said Ashley.

‘On occasions we had to defend tenaciously to keep them out and clear our lines.

‘Having our last two games called off because of the weather maybe worked in our favour.

‘It allowed us time to refocus and change direction.

‘Our next four games will now be critical.’

Havant coach Will Knight felt his men should have done better at Dover but is confident they will regroup with their destiny in their own hands.

He said: ‘To an extent the result increases the pressure on us but we still control our own destiny.

‘This was a game we could have won with the amount of pressure we put them under.

‘We spent the first 20 minutes camped on their line but failed to score because of some poor decision making.

‘In the second half, we struggled in the set-pieces.

‘It wasn’t until the game became a bit physical and robust towards the end of the second period that we sparked back into life.’

Winger Loz Blackburn cut back in through the centre for a try converted by Joel Knight to put Havant 7-3 ahead but Dover hit back to lead 10-7.

After the break, Havant fell 22-7 behind before Blackburn scored his second try late on.