Rugby: Tunbridge Wells slip to defeat deep in stoppage time

Pam Mills
MAXIMUM EFFORT: Max Edmonton offloads the ball to launch another break PHOTO: Bruce Elliott

TUNBRIDGE WELLS are looking to rebuild their season after suffering a second defeat in a row in the London and South East Premier at Guildford.

They had started the season with three wins but travelled to Surrey looking to make amends for a disappointing performance at home to Westcliff the week before.

But Guildford are a much-improved team from last season and they scored with the last play of the game to secure the points.

Tunbridge Wells began with good possession but had only a penalty by Frank Reynolds to show for it.

Guildford started to use their big ball-carriers to dent the visitors’ defensive line while their mercurial No 10 pulled the strings.

After prop Brendan Crosilla was yellow-carded for an infringement at a lineout, the hosts dominated field position and scored two quick tries before half-time.

But Wells have been something of a second-half team so far this season, and the same proved to be the case after the interval.

They came out firing, with their pack now taking an upper hand at the scrum and the back line producing potent counter-attacks to score three tries in quick succession.

The first came from a flowing first-phase move that saw Matt Spicer diving over in the corner.

More forward dominance and smarter game management led to a pushover try by the pack.

Finally the Guildford penalty count tested the referee’s patience too far and he awarded a penalty try for repeat offside infringements around the breakdown on their try line.

With ten minutes to go Wells had secured a narrow three-point lead but some loose kicking from the back division allowed Guildford to mount one last attack.

The visitors found themselves defending their try line as the clock went red.

Countless phases were rebuffed but eventually some slick hands by the backs saw them go over in the corner eight minutes after the 80-minute mark. The conversion was missed but it proved irrelevant.

Tunbridge Wells now face Brentwood at home on Saturday [October 6, kick-off 3pm].

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