Defeat fails to take gloss off superb season for Tunbridge Wells

Defeat fails to take gloss off superb season for Tunbridge Wells

Shelford 27 Tunbridge Wells 10

TUNBRIDGE WELLS signed off their first campaign in London & South East Premier Division with a defeat by the Cambridgeshire team they beat in their first game at this level back in September.

However, after a run of five straight wins they had already secured fifth place in what has been a highly impressive season at the highest level they have ever competed.

Shelford fly-half Josh Simmons opened the scoring with a penalty. But Wells hit back on the counter-attack down the right, moving the ball inside for Mike Hathaway to touch down, with Frank Reynolds converting.

On 23 minutes Wells hooker Luke Hawkins and opposing No 8 Aki Lea were both shown yellow cards, which opened the game up.

Five minutes later Shelford’s left wing Anzelu Tuitavuki scored from the halfway line, Simmons missing the conversion.

Reynolds slotted a simple penalty on 33 minutes to restore the Wells lead and they went into half-time narrowly in the lead 10-8.

After the restart Wells held up the Shelford pack over the line but they soon went behind to a Simmons try and conversion on 52 minutes.

The game was still in the balance but opportunities were not so frequent as Simmons put Wells under aerial bombardment.

Then the hosts’ right wing Charlie Parkhouse intercepted 10 metres from his own try line to score under the posts, Simmons converting on 62 minutes to make the score 22-10.

Wells picked up another yellow card for impeding as they tried to get back in the game, and conceded a final try which brought Shelford their bonus point in the final minute.

The coaching team of Simon Whatling, Dave Allen and Mike Whatman deserve huge credit for masterminding a fine showing after their promotion last year, alongside the work of Chairman John Crees and team manager Michelle Greenall.

PICTURE: NEED A HAND: Mac Popham looks for support PHOTO: Bruce Elliott

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