WEYMOUTH & Portland suffered a narrow loss in a closely-contested 24-19 defeat at New Milton Seconds in Dorset & Wilts One South.

After New Milton scored the first try both sides traded scores thereafter, with Seahorses’ skipper Dan Bowditch crossing twice and Norton Rogers also going over.

But New Milton were crucially able to score four tries, with five points proving the difference between the teams.

Speaking to Echosport after the encounter, backs coach Anthony Coburn felt poor execution of passes had let Weymouth & Portland down.

He said: “It was a game that we really should have won. The score didn’t reflect the game. Our forwards were dominant but when it went to the backs we tried pushing them in key areas.

“We blew three tries easily by not executing the passes, which seems to be the story of our season.

“It’s not getting the backs at training. They’re not able to train together and make the key decisions in the right areas of the pitch.

“But we’ll hopefully have players back in the new year. I’m very confident that in the second part of the season we’ll see a turnaround in fortunes.”

The Seahorses have won just two games all season but Khylo Farley, who played full-back at New Milton, felt his side had begun to gel after a turbulent start to the campaign that saw a high turnover of players.

He said: “It’s a very difficult season to adapt to new surroundings. We have finally found our feet as a team.

“You can tell we’ve bonded really well with how the players played and the understanding is coming together. Coming into the end of the season we’ll build on that and it will be better.

“We’ll hope to get a few more wins under our belt in the new year.”

Despite losing nine of eleven games, Weymouth & Portland’s points difference is just minus 100, with their biggest loss a 43-14 defeat to rivals and league leaders Dorchester.

But with four other teams – North Dorset II, New Milton II, Swanage & Wareham II and Lytchett Minster – having a difference in excess of minus 200, Farley is pleased with his team’s spirit.

“Looking at the league there have been quite a few beatings. We’re glad that we haven’t had that and we haven’t let our heads drop.

“That’s built the team morale and it’s been nice to have that as a player.”

Seahorses: Hamilton, Hayne, A Bowditch, Leatham, Billington, Morrison, Guest, D Bowditch, N Allan, Nixon, Harris, Richards, L Allan, Rogers, Farley. Rep: Blanning