Gosport fight back to snatch draw

Alex Duncombe scored 10 points for Gosport but missed a late penalty. Picture: Paul Jacobs (123258-8)
Alex Duncombe scored 10 points for Gosport but missed a late penalty. Picture: Paul Jacobs (123258-8)
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Two second-half tries helped Gosport & Fareham fightback to salvage a 20-20 London one south draw against Beckenham at Gosport Park.

It looked bleak for the hosts when they trailed 20-10 early in the second half.

But in the end they could have won it.

Tries from Matt Smith and Ben Madigan levelled the scores with 12 minutes to go.

And Alex Duncombe missed a difficult penalty to win the game deep into stoppage-time.

In the final 10 minutes, Beckenham had two players yellow carded but the hosts couldn’t make their numerical advantage count.

‘It was an awful game of rugby and I don’t think many people enjoyed it,’ said coach Gosport Mark Wells.

‘Beckenham were very average and we failed to rise above it.

‘The only good thing was we eventually fronted up to them and got back into the game.

‘In the end we were not experienced enough to win it.

‘We had a couple of opportunities to kick at goal but didn’t take them because of the wind.

‘It was good to see Wayne Dugan playing again and his brother Wes has signed for us after returning fron France.

‘They were both key players for us last season.’

In a penalty-strewn opening, Beckenham took a three-point lead before Duncombe put the home side into the ascendancy.

He converted his own try and kicked a penalty to put his side 10-3 ahead at half-time.

Beckenham’s revival at the start of the second half put the hosts in danger.

But the late fightback earned them a point.

‘The league is sorting itself out with a small group at the top and another at the bottom which includes us and the likes of Havant,’ said Wells.

‘We have to make sure we finish at the top of that lower group. I believe we will get the wins we need to do that.

‘The side is young enough and we are starting to get players back.’