Gosport & Fareham pay price for letting standards slip

Gosport & Fareham's Chris Thompson. Picture: Allan Hutchings (143652-045)
Gosport & Fareham's Chris Thompson. Picture: Allan Hutchings (143652-045)
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Gosport & Fareham paid the price for a poor second half as they slid to a 34-8 London one south defeat against Sutton & Epsom at Gosport Park.

The home side had every chance when they only trailed 10-8 at the break after playing against the elements in the first half.

However, it was the league leaders who took charge in the second half.

And they ran away with an easy win.

‘We switched off for a short spell in the second half and they punished us,’ said Gosport & Fareham head coach Neil McRoberts.

‘It was hugely disappointing.

‘We failed to maintain our focus in the contact areas and were also guilty of some weak defence.

‘That undid all the great work we did in the first half, during which we played really well.

‘In the opening 40 minutes we made Sutton & Epsom look very ordinary.

‘It is a pity we couldn’t keep it up.’

The visitors – with the wind behind them – opened up a 10-0 lead before Tom Lewis reduced the deficit with a well-struck penalty.

Number eight Chris Thompson crossed for a try just before half-time but that was as good as it got for the home side.

Elsewhere, Hampshire League division one leaders Fareham Heathens were made to fight all the way at Sandown & Shanklin.

But in the end they edged to a narrow 13-10 success over their Isle of Wight hosts.

Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes was a relieved man to see his team maintain their long unbeaten run – which stretches back to the opening day of the season.

‘It was a long old day at the office,’ said Rhodes.

‘In the end we managed to tough it out, although, it was difficult at times.

‘We never came to terms with Sandown’s pick-and-go game at the base of rucks and mauls.

‘Also, we were guilty of conceding far too many turnovers at the 
breakdowns.’

Heathens made a good start when Cam Guthrie knocked over a seventh-minute penalty.

And that was followed almost immediately by a Jonny Stoppard try.

The home side pulled a try back on the stroke of half-time.

But Heathens stretched their lead again through an Andy Burns try soon after the interval.

Within five minutes, the Hurricanes responded with their own try.

But Heathens held out against the elements.