Rugby: Lack of discipline ruins Tunbridge Wells’ hopes

Rugby: Lack of discipline ruins Tunbridge Wells' hopes
HANGING ON : Mike Hathaway and Christian Earle defend stoutly PHOTO: Bruce Elliott

IT WAS case of another one that got away for Tunbridge Wells as their ongoing issue with poor discipline saw them lose narrowly to their Kent rivals at Crescent Farm.

Rain and strong winds made for tricky conditions, and some well executed tactical kicking kept Sidcup at bay.

But the hosts opened the scoring with a couple of penalties from Sam Evans.

Wells hung on by winning the loose battle but then indiscipline crept in and an obvious hand in the ruck gave Evans another easy shot at goal a minute before half-time to give the home side a 9-0 lead at the interval.

Three minutes into the second period Wells got on the scoresheet with a fine Reynolds penalty.

Wells pushed higher up the pitch, helped by counterattacks from skipper Ryan Taylor-Dennehy and winger Jake Caddy.

Luke Hawkins replaced Stuart Nicholls at hooker, only for him to be yellow-carded for a late tackle just when they needed to press.

But the 14 men showed their mettle, rucking to suck in defenders, then unleashing Mike Doherty to go over in the right corner.

Reynolds just failed to convert, leaving the visitors trailing by a point with 20 minutes to go.

On 70 minutes Wells rolled the mall over the line only to be adjudged to have held up, and they did the same with three minutes left, again failing to impress the referee.

In injury time the visitors were awarded a penalty but one final act of indiscipline, action on the floor by a frustrated player, caused the penalty to be reversed and a relieved Sidcup kicked to touch for the narrowest of wins.

So the first half of the London and South-East Premier Division season ended with Wells recording six wins from 13 games.

They face a tough assignment away at leaders Wimbledon on Saturday [December 15, kick-off 2pm] in their last game before Christmas.

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