5:00pm Monday 8th April 2013
By David Williams
WEYMOUTH 3 DEVIZES 81
“WE won’t play like that again, I can guarantee you that.”
That was Weymouth head coach Paul Harding’s defiant stance after his side was obliterated by new Southern Counties South champions Devizes.
The hosts went into the game hoping to delay the visitors’ championship party but by the end it was just a matter of damage limitation.
“It was a below standard performance and I was very disappointed,” said Harding, whose side’s points came courtesy of Nick Sheppard’s penalty.
“We started brightly and used the ball well when we had it. We went through our phases and looked quite tidy going forward but in defence we were not at our best.
“There were some valiant efforts from the likes of Tom Smethurst, Will Eckersley and Gary Hamlin but overall it just wasn’t good enough.
“Devizes are a very good team but we did not perform to a level I expect from a Weymouth side.
“Whatever the reasons were for it, it was not the standard we expect. The energy levels and concentration didn’t seem to be there. It wasn’t every player but there was a general lack of urgency.
“There seemed to be a lack of determination but to be fair we trained really well during the week.
“We missed tackles and were below par defensively but I wouldn’t go as far as to say the boys weren’t trying.
“Unfortunately, some boys just weren’t up to the standard and didn’t play well enough.”
Harding didn’t feel his men had one eye on this Saturday’s derby against Dorchester either, and was also keen to look at the bigger picture.
He added: “We did have a few players missing but Joe Gibson led the side superbly in difficult circumstances.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that we have stayed in a league which has been a graveyard for a lot of teams.
“I will back this group of players and fully expect them to play better against Dorchester.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group