Hartpury's title hopes dented by loss to Worthing
Worthing seized control of the National Two South title race as Joe Govett's 17-point haul helped the Raiders to an enthralling victory over promotion rivals Hartpury.
The livewire scrum-half landed all five of his attempts on goal and bagged a crucial try early in the second half, as well as being at the heart of much of his side's considerable attacking enterprise.
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Kieron Dawson's men, spearheaded by Govett's brilliance and some outstanding individual displays in the pack, dictated events for long periods.
Poor discipline almost cost the hosts, however, as Hartpury's Craig Jackson kept the score ticking over with five penalties.
But a steely defensive display guided Worthing to their 17th win of the season and all but extinguished their opponents' title ambitions.
After Govett and Jackson exchanged early penalties, Worthing registered the first of their three tries on 12 minutes when Jack Maslen crossed in the corner following Govett's break on the right.
Hartpury's response was immediate as Steph Reynolds' pass released full-back Sean Marsden for a try on the left wing, Jackson adding a fine conversion.
Jackson's second penalty put Hartpury into the lead for the first time, but the Raiders regained the ascendancy five minutes later when powerhouse centre Kiba Richards burst into the line to crash over under the posts.
Worthing's transgressions allowed Jackson to slot two more three-pointers, the first of which flew over from the halfway line, either side of the interval and edge Hartpury ahead at 19-17.
The home side struck back again, though, and after a yellow card for the visitors' Brandon Walker, Govett gathered Alex Nielsen's offload out wide to touch down off first phase from a scrum.
Worthing lock Will Stutchbury followed Walker to the sin-bin shortly before the hour, although he could consider himself somewhat fortunate to escape more serious punishment after his punch connected with Chris Fortey.
That incident was sandwiched between penalties for Jackson and Govett as a thrilling game neared its conclusion.
Hartpury, knowing that nothing less than a win would suffice in their chase for top spot, mounted a final assault.
The hosts' workhorse of a number eight James Redmayne picked up his team's second yellow card after handling in a ruck inside his own 22.
Worthing's depleted pack repelled the resultant catch-and-drive and held up Tim Stevenson in-goal, before surviving another menacing driving maul and holding up Callum O'Connell.
And O'Connell's desperate thrust for the whitewash proved to be the last act as referee Terry Hall blew the final whistle, confirming another damaging defeat in Hartpury's automatic promotion hunt.
WORTHING: A Nielsen; J Maslen, K Richards, O Richards, L Peters (L Hopkinson 49); B Dudley, J Govett; P Cleveland (M Pointing 5), M Miles, J Burns; W Stutchbury, C McGowan; J Heaver, S Hewick, J Redmayne. Unused reps: J Arthur, J Smith, K Leeming
HARTPURY : S Marsden; S Reynolds, C Jackson, A Dancer, I Clark; B Burns (T Stevenson 53), B Field; R Cano (C Thorne 64), C Fortey (C O'Connell 72), D Crompton; E Stooke, S Raven; J Head (B Walker 22), G Mills (C O'Connell 27-29), N Thomas. Unused rep: C Stuart-Smith
Referee: Terry Hall (RFU)