Tunbridge Wells 41 Towcestrians 7

HEROIC RETURN Mike Doherty crosses over for one of his two tries PHOTO: Bruce Elliott

TUNBRIDGE WELLS hosted Towcestrians for their first visit to Kent and it was to prove a tough experience for the Northamptonshire side, who are propping up the London South East Premier Division table with three defeats in a row.

Wells were looking to bounce back from three setbacks too, and were glad to see the return of Mike Hathaway after a lengthy injury lay-off.

After an early break by Blaise Salle and Max Douch, Hathaway celebrated his return by crashing over to give Wells the unconverted lead.

Wells were showing ambition and they scored a superb team try on 17 minutes. Chaz Spence released full-back Ryan Taylor-Dennehy on an inside pass, who fed on to Douch. He in turn released Dave Allen who linked with Frank Reynolds to put Salle in for a converted try.

Nick Doherty, and Brendan Crosilla were carrying strongly and on 20 minutes Luke Hawkins crashed over for a third try which was converted by Reynolds.

As heavy rain began to fall, the game became scrappy and when Wells conceded a scrum penalty, the visitors’ scrum-half Gus Hopewell took a quick tap and dotted down for a try.

James Falvey converted a minute before half-time and at 19-7 down the visitors at least had a foothold in the game.

Ten minutes into the second half an -outstanding break by Richard Webster was taken on by centre Shaydn Osgood. Hathaway surged forward and Reynolds fed Webster, who put the older Doherty brother Mike in for the bonus point try.

It took another 14 minutes for the home side to extend their lead. Taylor-Dennehy was released and showed great pace to beat three defenders.

With Crosilla now injured and Luke Hawkins already off the pitch Wells had to go down to 14 players for the last 10 minutes but it did not prevent them from scoring two more tries.

Excellent work by Mac Popham and Nick Doherty helped brother Mike to cross for his second score on 75 minutes.

Then Spence sent an exquisite crossfield kick over to Nick Doherty, who gathered the ball and dotted down to make the final score 41-7.

This weekend Wells travel to Sutton & Epsom, who sit seventh in the league on 16 points whilst Wells are 10th on 12 points (kick-off 3pm).