Returning stars help to restore Wells’ form

Returning stars help to restore Wells' form
Tunbridge Wells rugby

Tunbridge Wells 38
Brighton 5

With Wells’ next three games in the London and South East Premier Division being against teams in the top four, this was a match they could ill-afford to lose.

The home side were in charge from the start and were rewarded with a penalty which fly-half Frank Reynolds converted from 30 metres after 16 minutes.

After Wells conceded a succession of penalties themselves, it was Brighton who had the lion’s share of possession in the second quarter but the defence proved robust.

The game was very open at this stage, which suited Wells. Mike Doherty’s eye for a miss-pass saw him find winger Angus Horne and he crossed for his first try at this level.

This was converted on 35 minutes to give the home side a hard-earned but well-deserved 10-0 lead at half-time.

They were further rewarded early in the second half when Reynolds put centre Mike Doherty into a midfield gap and he burst clear from 30 metres for a converted try.

On 48 minutes Horne came off his wing for an incisive run and slipped a pass to the other centre, Rich Murray, who celebrated his return from long-term injury with a try that was converted by Reynolds.

It was somewhat against the run of play when Brighton’s full-back Maxx Morris showed fine footwork and good pace to cross for an unconverted try after 55 minutes.

The home team resumed control, however, and as Reynolds made a thrusting run his sublime offload allowed Mike Hathaway, also back from injury, to score the bonus point try on the hour-mark.

After a deliberate knock-on, the visitors were reduced to 14 men by a yellow card. Wells’ scrum was dominant and a deliberate collapse near the visitors’ line saw the referee award a penalty try with four minutes left.

Wells, in seventh place, now face a tough task at fourth-placed Hertford on Saturday (January 11, kick-off 2pm).

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