ROMSEY'S game against Gosport and Fareham was preceded by a two minute silence to pay respects to the fallen. Romsey‘s coach Don Cocks had also been able to organise a bugler to play, adding further poignancy to the occasion.

As has been their habit of late Romsey started slowly, absorbing considerable Gosport pressure. Romsey also continued their habit of giving away early penalties and were very fortunate that the Gosport kicker had forgotten his kicking boots, missing two penalty attempts.

After this let off Romsey upped their game and competed well in all phases of play countering the visitors strong running threequarters with excellent defence whilst also mounting a number of attacks of their own. Romsey then turned down an opportunity to take three points from a very kickable penalty in search of a try scoring opportunity which sadly came to nought. However as the half was drawing to a close Romsey were at last rewarded when a fluid movement down the line found prop forward Aaron Gallagher mysteriously lurking on the wing. The thundering prop was not to be denied and barrelled over for a terrific try with the difficult conversion narrowly missed by scrum half Eli Pitt - five nil to Romsey.

The second half began with some even play before Gosport attacked strongly, ultimately scoring an unconverted try with around ten minutes played, bringing the score to five points apiece. Shortly afterwards Romsey‘s injury jinx struck again when Hooker Ben Hoad was forced to leave the field. As usual Hoad had been a force to be reckoned with in the loose play so his loss was unfortunate to say the least. However Romsey were able to reshuffle their pack and continued to compete well in the scrums.

Soon afterwards another Romsey player suffered a blood injury to the head and left the field for treatment, rejoining a few minutes later. However the referee judged that he might be suffering from concussion and Romsey therefore lost another player to injury.

With the replacements pulling their weight Romsey were gradually gaining the upper hand and during the last quarter Gosport were unable to mount threatening attacks and were being well contained by Romsey side gaining in confidence. When Gosport infringed under pressure Eli Pitt stepped up to kick a tremendous penalty from a narrow angle giving Romsey and eight points to five lead. This led to a nailbiting final quarter of the game.

With spectators and players alike sensing a league win to be proud of, disaster struck in the very last minute of the game. A Romsey attack saw the ball being thrown wide only to be intercepted by one of Gosport’s speedy backs who ran 50 metres and scored under the posts. With an easy conversion Gosport ran out unlikely winners by 12 points to 8.

After this huge disappointment Romsey must know pick themselves up for their rearranged match against Portsmouth on Saturday.