ALL Paul Harding could do was take his hat off to Sherborne after this emphatic defeat at Gainsborough Park.

The Weymouth head coach watched the hosts punish any slight error from his side and he could not help but praise the North Dorset outfit afterwards.

He told Echosport: “Fair play to Sherborne because they played very well indeed. They found the right areas to attack us and they were clinical in everything they did.

“We made a lot of one-on-one errors and missed tackles and every time they got an opportunity to score they took it.

“We had our own difficulties in regards to selection but that was the best side we could put out on the day so we can have no complaints.

“Everyone gave 100 per cent but sometimes you have to take your hat off and just accept that you were beaten by the better side.”

The Seasiders may have picked up their first win in Southern Counties South against Oakmeadians the previous week but there is no doubt they are still acclimatising to the step up in standard.

Harding went on to add: “We will go away from this now and learn.

“From a coaching point of view, believe it or not, there were still some positives to take from it.

“The things we had worked on in training went well and our scrummaging progressed a little bit again, so it certainly was not all doom and gloom.

“It’s a long season and the step up in standard from Dorset & Wilts One South was always going to be difficult but as long as we keep learning and improving along the way then I will be happy.”

Tom Smethurst and Gary Hamlin were Weymouth’s outstanding players on the day and Harding is now hoping to galvanise the troops ahead of this Saturday’s Vase clash with Supermarine at Monmouth Avenue when they could be boosted by the return of up to seven first-team players.

Weymouth: Oaksford, Borrington, Berry, Mason, Vallance, Smethurst, Hamlin, J Quick, Barter, Shephard, W Quick, Hoxey, Lewendon, Walker, Allan. Replacements: Sample, Boudoir.