Sheppey hold onto their ball in the defeat to Gillingham Anchs Picture: Andy Payton.
Sheppey 19 Gillingham Anchs 59
Sheppey regained some pride with a battling second half performance as they lost their opening match of the season in Kent 1 on Saturday.
Sheppey coach Frank Davis said: "We were poor in the first half and Anchorians have got a lot of experienced players who made us pay.
"But they tired in the second half and credit to our boys, they dug deep, and in the end Anchorians were flattered by the scoreline."
In the first half there was precious little for the Sheppey supporters to cheer as Anchorians ran in six tries without reply, led by a hat-trick from wing Brett Little.
But Sheppey began the second period with much better purpose and although Anchorians stretched their lead to 52-0, Sheppey soon gained some rewards for their efforts.
A big tackle from Jeremy Hyde enabled Luke Barker to set up Chris Champ for a try.
Persistent pressure resulted in a string of penalties for the home side and Sean Morgan was able to capitalise with a try, which Aaron Mills converted for 52-12.
Then a quick tap and go from another penalty saw Rob Allan score, converted by Mills for 52-19.
Although Anchorians had the last word with another try, it only slightly soured a much better second half display by Davis’ side.
This Saturday, Sheppey face a daunting local derby at Sittingbourne, who opened their season with a 15-13 victory at Cranbrook.