Relief for Burns as Services leave it late

Tom Cantwell. Picture: Mick Young (112784-02)
Tom Cantwell. Picture: Mick Young (112784-02)
Barry Bridgman. Picture: Neil Marshall

Coach delivers parting shot to Gosport & Fareham

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United Services bounced back to winning ways in Hampshire one with a 29-25 win over Bognor at Burnaby Road.

They left it late, though, with Tom Cantwell’s last-minute try sparing the home side’s blushes.

‘We played well in the first half with the wind behind us but then relaxed,’ said relieved director of rugby Simon Burns.

‘The players then had to show real character to come back and win the game in the closing minute.

‘We were mightily relieved at the end to come away with a bonus-point win.’

Chris Marriott kicked an early penalty before old-stagers Matt Davis and Burns combined to send the latter over for a converted try.

By half-time Services had built up a 22-8 lead with further tries from Marriott and Cantwell.

But after the break the visitors hit back with a penalty and three tries to establish a 25-22 advantage with time running out.

However, Services launched a final attack and Cantwell took advantage of quick ruck ball to grab the vital score with Marriott converting.

In Hampshire two, third-placed Locks Heath Pumas romped to a 62-0 win at struggling Stoneham.

The home side struggled to contain the Pumas’ running game as the visitors took their points tally to more than 200 for the season.

Locks Heath squandered three try-scoring opportunities before number eight Matt Lawrence finally powered over.

The floodgates then opened with Damian Sambrook, three tries, prop forward Harry Cripps, two tries, Lawrence, a second, Matt Newton, Tom O’Grady and Kent Streek all crossing the whitewash.

Nic Di Stefano kicked six conversions.

‘We had mixed emotions at the end,’ said Andrew Martin.

‘The result was pleasing but we felt we should have scored a lot more tries.’

Fareham Heathens made sure they remained top of the table at Christmas with a 22-10 derby win over Southsea Nomads.

Second-placed Petersfield thumped Alresford 71-11 at Penns Place.