Fareham Heathens lost out to Sandown & Shanklin
Last game loss on the island, despite bright start
Heathens 1st XV went down to bruising 40-10 loss away at Sandown & Shanklin in their last game on the 2017/18 Snows Group Hampshire 1 League.
The home team started the brightest and opened their account on 3 minutes when Heathens conceded a penalty. Heathens hit back with a try just at the end of the first quarter from No.8 Harry King
following some dominant phase play inside the home sides 22.
Sandown & Shanklin hit back from the kick off when an error inside the Heathens 22 led to a try, making it 10-5. Heathens kept pressing the home side and were finally rewarded with a John Cole
try down the short side having already crossed the line several times only to be judged to have been held up.
The teams turned around level at 10-10 at half time and the visitors were worthy of this position.
The second half started as brightly as the first but the home team secured the all important initiative by opening their account first with a try shortly followed by a penalty try when Heathens were adjudged to have pulled down a driving maul that was heading for the line.
Adding a penalty just before the end of the third quarter Sandown & Shanklin opened up a 25-10 lead.
This seemed to give the home team added vigour and they continued to batter the Heathens line. Despite a few forays into the oppositions half Heathens failed to get any reward.
Once again Heathens shipped points in the last 10 minutes, conceding a further 3 tries making the final score 40-10.
DOR Bernie Rhodes said "we have lost home and away to all the teams above us in the League and only narrowly lost away to Arlesford who ended up just below Heathens in the League. It is all about fine margins and the F's, Fitness and F(PH)ysicality. We have a great pool of talent at Heathens but we need to get fitter and more physical if we are to maintain Hants top flight status. We need to find ways of beating the teams above us in the League. We ended up winning one more game than last season, advanced one place in the League and ended up with 13 bonus points compared to last season. This is progress but we need more as the new Hants Premier League will be another step up."
New Head Coach Dave Wheaton
has done a great job developing the team but we must get more physical and much fitter. We have shipped too many points in the last quarter of too many games. This will need to change next season. We have used more than 40 players for the 1st XV in the League this year. Whilst this can be a positive thing due to the depth of the squad it also causes problems when you are looking to achieve consistency."
The lads will have a rest now for a few weeks and then we will start looking to build for next season.