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Weymouth’s best show is not enough
WOOTTON BASSETT 24 WEYMOUTH 8
THIS game was much closer than the scoreline suggests, according to Paul Harding.
The Weymouth head coach branded his side’s display at Ballard’s Ash Sports Ground the best of the year so far, but it was still not enough to overcome Wootton Bassett who have now moved above them in the Southern Counties South table.
Harding told Echosport: “To be fair it was a lot closer than 24-8 and it was a much-improved performance throughout.
“Craig Barter made a welcome return at scrum-half and he really got things bubbling around and capped off what was a great individual performance with an excellent try.
“Unfortunately though, it was the first 15 minutes that ended up killing us.
“We went 12-0 down in that period of play and after that it was always going to be an uphill battle.
“We had enough chances but we just could not turn enough of them into points.
“Had we been a bit more clinical then the game really would have been right in the melting pot.”
He went on to add: “Nick Sheppard kicked a penalty to make it 12-3 and then Craig went over to cut the deficit to 12-8.
“They then went over again for 17-8 before eventually finishing it off with a converted try right at the end.
“We actually had the opportunity to kick a couple of penalties early in the second half but did not take them and, on reflection, perhaps we should have done.
“Had we brought the scoreline a little closer it may have put a bit more pressure on them. Instead though, we kicked for the corner and ended up losing the line-out despite having won all of them up to that point, and it was just frustrating things like that which cost us.
“We also lost the ball a few times in contact when well positioned but overall I thought it was still a step in the right direction.
“It was our best performance of the year so far and hopefully we can now build on it ahead of another long trip to Swindon Supermarine next weekend, which is another huge game for us.”
Gary Hamlin and Julian Quick were also excellent for the visitors but Harding knows a win is needed soon if his side are to avoid a nervous end to what has been a very encouraging season.
Four defeats in five have seen Wey-mouth plummet to ninth spot since the turn of the year, although they do still sit 10 points clear of the bottom three.
Weymouth: Berry, Borrington, Comben, Smethurst, Westwood, Eckersley, Hamlin, J Quick, Barter, Shepherd, Lewendon, Robinson, Wilson, Haynes, Nation-Grainger.