Against the elements all teams showed determination
We had three teams in action this weekend. Two teams at Haywards Heath RFC and 1 team at Hastings and Bexhill RFC.
Heathfield Hurricanes at Haywards Heath:
Hurricanes 1 v Haywards Heath 7;
The boys were eager to get started despite the wet and cold,
and started brightly with some good passing. Haywards Heath scored with a breakaway try. This spurred the boys on and they scored almost immediatley with some great forward running and wing play.The Hurricanes held their own for the next few minutes, with some really strong tackling, but Haywards Heath scored two more breakaway tries in the first half, to lead 3-1 at half time.
The second half started evenly for the first few minutes, then the wet and cold weather took it's effect on the boys. Despite some valiant tackling, Haywards Heath ran in four more tries to win the game 7-1. Well done to Haywards Heath who are a well organised team. although the score line flattered a little and did not reflect the great effort our boys put in.
Hurricanes 3 v Hove 4.
By the time this match started the rain was coming down very hard and the wind was bitterly cold. the boys did there best to stay warm but were clearly struggling with the conditions, as were the parents!
The game started evenly with both teams tackling well and getting to grips with the conditions. Hove opened the scoring with a break from the halfway line. From the restart the Hurricanes pressed forward combining some good passing with great forward running which led to a well taken try. Hove finished the half strongly,and managed to cross the line to go in at half time 2-1 up.
When it came to to start the second half some of the boys were unable to start due to the cold and wet, which was totally understandable. The boys that played did us proud and produced a great effort. againt all the odds the Hurricanes equalised with a great try though the middle. Hove made their numerical advantage pay from the restart and passed the ball well to go over the line and make it 3-2. Both teams then put in some good tackling before the Hurricanes managed to score again with a smashing try that showed great willingness and power to crash over the line, 3.3 and we had a barnstorming finish. With all the Hurricane players back on the pitch, it looked like we would hold out for the draw, but Hove put us under great pressure and managed to get over line at the death to win 4.3.
A really tremendous effort from all the boys today under very difficult conditions.Thanks to all the coaches for your efforts today and the parents too for putting up with the great British weather.
By Nick Fennell.
Heathfield Spitfires at Haywards Heath
In conditions that even Captain Oates might have thought twice about stepping out of the tent into, our brave Heathfield Spitfires strode out on the pitch to begin the warm-up to the H-Cup tournament.
It soon became apparent that with the horizontal rain, biting wind and pitches resembling the Lake District that this was going to be an interesting day.
And so despite the treacherous conditions the boys took to the field against Haywards Heath. Some fantastic forward runs by the Spitfires were met by equally ferocious tackling and an impenetrable, flat defence from HH. Turnover ball ensued from strong counter-rucking and passes out wide meant that HH generated a 3-0 halftime lead. Notwithstanding some tough tackling and some fine passing by the Spitfires, the power of HH told and the final score of 6-0 does not tell the full story of the whole-hearted commitment and never say die attitude the boys so keenly demonstrated.
During the break the coaches highlighted the need to try and tackle lower and offload the ball before been tackled, as well as emphasising the need to try and stay warm between the matches. Spirits we’re lifted with the boys devouring a box of Jaffa Cakes to refuel in readiness for the next game against Horsham.
Against a well drilled Horsham the boys played very well as a team and powered over for two tries scored by Killian and Freddie. Despite great courage, incredible tackling and good defence Horsham’s passing game and the trying conditions meant the Spitfires were pushed to their physical limits. Horsham running out eventual 6-2 winners.
At this stage with some of the boys now turning blue and the pitches resembling the ground during the Battle of the Somme common sense prevailed and the proceedings were brought to an early close. Parents and boys now retreated for a hot chocolate, a warm bath and a blocked washing machine, all in agreement to come back stronger on another day.
Well done to the boys and coaches for sticking at it in such difficult conditions a challenging day we can all learn from.
By Mark Walley
Heathfield Thunderbolts at Hastings and Bexhill
Our squad of 8 arrived at Hastings keen to play but praying the weather was going to improve, it did not! We had large areas of standing water on the pitches and it was not conducive to our usual style of running rugby.
We roled our sleeves up and went straight into our first game against Hastings and Bexhill, where we showed great promise in going forward with acurate passing /offloading and some awsome penetrating runs. Unfortunately, defensivelyy Hastings were very good and seemed to nullify our attacks and swiftley turned play over meaning we were on the defensive back foot. We spent most of the second half putting in tackle after tackle which meant spending alot of the time in the water and mud. This was draining the boys energy and after a vailiant show of character and perseverance we lost 7 - 0 in the opening match.
We had to wait for nearly half an hour for our second match, with two other games being played inbetweeen. With all the hard work of the first game and spending so much time on the floor, the boys were freezing and unable to properly get dry and warm. Unfortunately but understandably due to this, 3 of our squad were unable to start the second game so we played with 5 lads aginst a 7 strong Hellingly team. You would not have known we had less players as we ran, supported and passed without giving the opposition a chance to reply. We started to knock up the points with Henk scoring more than once and one of our newest players Loius adding to the total. At half time one of our squad had managed to thaw out enough to join back in, and at the restart we were caught for a split second with Hellingly running in a deserved try. We came back stronger, now with only one less player we found our stride and Harvey finished the game with a great solo try from the half way line ending the game 6-1 to us.
All in all I was very proud of all the boys and grateful to all the parents for helping me and the squad make the best of the less than favourable conditions.
It was great to see the Thunderbolts step up to the mark and with this being the first tournament for a couple of our guys I could not have asked for any more!
Well done and role on spring.....
By Paul Smith