Hartpury suffer first defeat of season as Govett holds nerve
JOE Govett's last-gasp penalty snatched victory for Worthing after a cagey battle with Hartpury, ending the home side's unbeaten start to the season.
Billed as a potentially key fixture in the National Two South promotion race, the match was expected to be an attritional affair.
And so it proved to be, as the contest evolved largely into a duel between the boots of Govett and Billy Burns.
Burns opened the scoring with a third-minute penalty before Hartpury lost skipper Chris Fortey to a suspected slipped disc in his back after only eight minutes.
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But it was the ex-Gloucester man's replacement Callum O'Connell who grabbed the game's only try 12 minutes after coming on.
Burns gathered his own neat chip to provide the go-forward for the attack, with the ball being spread to the left wing where Ian Clark released O'Connell for a try.
Worthing's aggression and physicality in the breakdown resulted in four Govett penalties either side of the break.
Worthing dominated possession in the second half and had ample field position with which to work.
But it was the hosts who edged in front despite losing Craig Jackson to the sin-bin, with Burns striking two penalties from rare attacks as the final quarter approached.
Hartpury's most threatening foray into Worthing territory came after a break from Alex Dancer that was thwarted by a knock-on.
Worthing clinched victory after Hartpury infringed in front of their own posts and Govett kept his composure to seal the win with the last kick of the match.
HARTPURY RFC: S Marsden; J Hayes, C Jackson (S Rodwell 66), A Dancer, I Clark; B Burns, B Field; R Cano (J Gibbons 72), C Fortey (C O'Connell 8), D Crompton; W Graulich, E Stooke; H Casson, L Wilkinson, N Thomas. Unused reps: B Walker, C Stuart-Smith
WORTHING: M Farnes; J Maslen (Jordan Burns 72), K Richards, D Clayton (H Sloan 72), A Nielsen; B Dudley, J Govett; P Cleveland (M Pointing 65), M Miles, Joe Burns (J McIntyre 65); W Stutchbury, S Barlow; J Redmayne (J Arthur 41), S Hewick, R Smith
Referee: Phil Watters (RFU)