Harding's troops push high-fliers all the way

Dorset Echo: YELLOW-CARDED: Julian Quick, right YELLOW-CARDED: Julian Quick, right

TROWBRIDGE 24 WEYMOUTH 22

PAUL Harding felt his side deserved something from this narrow defeat at high-flying Trowbridge.

The Seasiders approached the clash with trepidation but they more than matched the joint league leaders and would have snatched an unlikely victory had it not been for a disappointing 20-minute spell before half-time.

Harding told Echosport: “We did not play well in the first half and found ourselves 17-3 down at the break.

“We conceded a soft try early on but then got back into it and had two good opportunities to score.

“One was not quite grounded properly by Will Quick while the other saw Joel Wilson stopped just five yards short of the line.

“We ended up coming away with a penalty, which made it 5-3, only to then lose Harry Charles and Adam Hoxey, which caused a bit of a reshuffle.

“I think those two coming off threw us a bit and they went on and controlled the remainder of the half, scoring two tries and a conversion to give them a 14-point lead at the break.

“I was disappointed with that but in the second half we went back out and played really well.

“Joel scored a lovely try when he found a yard and side-stepped their full-back and he broke through a gap to grab our next one too.

“He had a phenomenal game and with Nick Sheppard adding both conversions we were back level at 17-17.

“They were still dangerous and strong up front though, and for the next 10 minutes we defended our line superbly until Julian Quick was given a yellow card, which I felt was a bit unfortunate because we hadn’t given away that many penalties.

“They made the extra man count by going over near the sticks, which made it 24-17, but we immediately fought back with Will Quick going over in the corner.

“The conversion from out wide just missed the posts but unperturbed we went straight back up there and had a really good chance to score another try, which would have won us the game and also given us the extra bonus point.

“Unfortunately though, it fell to a prop to pass to the winger and he decided to take the contact instead.

“It was such a shame because we played more than well enough to come away with something but it was just not meant to be.”

Weymouth now sit eighth in Southern Counties South, just five points above the bottom two, but Harding is still happy with the way things are progressing.

He added: “Having won promotion last season we are still finding our feet at this level and I think we are improving every week.

“To play so well against one of the top sides, despite having a few missing, should give us a lot of confidence and the aim now is to build on that in the next game.”

The Seasiders are in action at Monmouth Avenue on Saturday against Wootton Bassett, who sit just four points above them.

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