Gosport show fighting quality needed at East Grinstead

Alex Duncombe
Alex Duncombe
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Gosport showed the fighting quality they need to win their London one south survival battle but could not deny rampant leaders East Grinstead a 58-10 success.

There’s been no stopping the unbeaten top dogs this season.

But Gosport refused to roll over and made their hosts scrap.

They even took the lead after seven minutes.

With four games left, Gosport are six points adrift of Havant and Beckenham and just one point further behind Haywards Heath and Cobham.

Three of their last games are at home and captain Matt Smith insists his team will fight to the very end.

‘This performance shows that we are prepared to fight for everything,’ said Smith.

‘We knew that we couldn’t expect to win but we were never going to just roll over for them.

‘There is a good mood in our camp and we came here to play our game and see what happened.

‘In the first 10 minutes we showed what we can do.

‘Even when we are losing we make it hard for the opposition and we forced East Grinstead to work hard for everything.

‘Towards the end, their quality and greater fitness shone through but their final two tries meant the scoreline flattered them a little.’

Gosport stunned their hosts by hitting the front after Smith charged down an East Grinstead clearance kick.

Wing-forward John Field picked up the loose ball for the try which Alex Duncombe converted to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.

Though Gosport continued working hard, the power of the Sussex team eventually took its toll and they ran in a series of tries.

‘We were a bit annoyed with ourselves with a few of their tries because they came from missed tackles,’ said Smith.

‘You have to give sides credit when they score their tries on the outside after good moves but we were annoyed with ourselves over the ones they scored up the middle.

‘It was hard work for us on a horrible pitch which was very sticky.

‘But we stuck to our guns and were determined not to get spanked.’

Duncombe added the final Gosport points with a first-half penalty.

Gosport will look to their crunch clash with already-relegated Southampton Trojans at Gosport Park to inject some real momentum into their last-ditch survival bid.

That match is due to take place a week on Saturday and it will be a crunch battle.

There is no way Gosport can afford a repeat of their recent defeat to basement side Old Colfeians.

Havant’s London one south fixture at Sidcup was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

The game has been rescheduled for next weekend which has means a delay to the county cup.

Havant were due to meet Gosport & Fareham in the semi-final of the competition next week but the league takes priority.

The Hampshire Cup final is due to take place on Easter Saturday at Portsmouth RFC – with the city club meeting the winners of the other semi-final.

With no free Saturday’s available until April 27, it means the two clubs face the prospect of a double-header weekend, a midweek evening game or pushing the final back.