Rugby: Error-strewn Tunbridge Wells all at sea in the wet

Rugby: Spence heroics fail to save Tunbridge Wells from narrow defeat

TUNBRIDGE WELLS were left to rue a missed opportunity in a match they should have won against bottom-of-the-table opponents.

On a very damp pitch the home side began with 15 minutes of possession, with Southend getting little ball and relying on Wells giving away a flurry of penalties to relieve the pressure.

Southend came back strongly with sensible wet weather tactics and were rewarded after 24 minutes with a penalty slotted by Adam Dobson.

After 32 minutes Charlie Dagwell was yellow-carded for collapsing the maul and Southend took advantage to score from a driving maul through Daniel Read close to the posts, converted by Dobson.

A succession of penalties conceded by the hosts for offside saw the Saxons threaten again.

Scrum-half Tony Sprangers spotted a gap and was through at the posts to score. Dobson converted to leave Wells trailing 0-17 at the interval.

Southend dominated possession despite errors at the lineout but on 66 minutes Wells at last got some momentum into their game.

Christian Earle broke through and found Mac Popham on his shoulder, who fed skipper Chas Spence for a try converted by Ryan Taylor-Dennehy.

Replacement Max Douch was looking a threat and he put in a 45-metre break on 74 minutes to find Spence, who sent hooker Luke Hawkins in for the try.

Taylor-Dennehy could not convert, however, and Wells were left to reflect on the lack of a game plan and poor discipline around the offside line.

There is no London & South-East Premier match this weekend.

Wells will look to bounce back at this higher level when they visit local rivals Sidcup on November 25.

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