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1st XV - Match centre

Lewes
Heathfield & Waldron
Sat 8 Dec 14:15 - London & SE Division - London 2 South East Full time

Lewes finish off tiring Heathfield

Lewes were the deserved winners of this London SE2 League match as they scored six tries to one although at half time the game had looked to be in the balance and ten minutes into the second half the visitors were leading by four points.

Lewes 34 Heathfield 16
Lewes were the deserved winners of this London SE2 League match as they scored six tries to one although at half time the game had looked to be in the balance and ten minutes into the second half the visitors were leading by four points.
The early exchanges looked promising for Heathfield but after five minutes David Bayly had to be replaced following a leg injury. Matt Finney came on at prop and Tom Pritchard moved into the back row. Although just a Colt last year, Bayly has made a serious impact this season and his absence and associated positional changes disrupted Heathfield’s shape.
Nonetheless Heathfield were threatening at this stage and the first score came from a lineout resulting from a penalty and an efficient catch-and-drive allowed Ollie Smith to claim the try, duly converted by Ethan Walker (0-7).
Ten minutes later the home right winger had a fine solo effort down the touchline and a well-judged chip-ahead and kind bounce gave him a try under the posts (7-7). However this was the only successful place kick by the home team all day which mitigated the eventual result. This was now a good contest with chances for both sides with the visitors’ pack looking to have an edge in both scrummage and lineout. The home scrummage was under pressure and ‘Munch’ May was doing some good work at the base of the opposing scrum. David Yates was having another excellent game with his lineout work and ball carries. A Heathfield penalty was fair reward for their pressure (7-10).
However on the half hour Lewes retook the lead with a try from a lineout near the visitors’ line when the ball bounced loose and the home number six grabbed the ball and ran an effective and muscular line over the whitewash (12-10). Lewes made some important tactical substitutions about now in the front row and at half back. They missed a straightforward penalty on the stroke of halftime to leave the game looking wide open.
For the first ten minutes of the second half Heathfield continued to look very competitive and two penalties by Walker took them into a deserved lead (12-16). However the home personnel changes gradually took effect as the scrummage was now more stable and their back division looked increasingly dangerous. A penalty kick to the corner and a solid lineout allowed their full-back, probably their best performer on the day, to evade the defence for the try that retook the lead (17-16).
The tide in the match had clearly turned although Lewes missed another penalty opportunity and were adjudged to have been held up after a forward charge under the visitors’ posts. Heathfield might still have entertained hopes of at least obtaining a bonus point but these thoughts were snuffed out by two well-taken home tries on the right hand side (27-16). Lewes now had majority possession and most of the play was in the visitors’ half. When Heathfield did achieve possession, they failed to retain it through enough phases and a mistake or a penalty typically ended any opportunity.
A final try for Lewes completed the scoring to leave Heathfield pondering on yet another poor second half performance. The first half of the league programme ends next Saturday (15 Dec 2.15) when Heathfield entertain high-flying Crowborough in what is sure to be a well-contested occasion between two close neighbours.

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other London 2 South East results

36
7
Sevenoaks
Crowborough
29
23
Medway
54
14
Thanet Wanderers
15
22
Charlton Park

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Aylesford Bulls 22 51
7. Warlingham 22 50
8. Deal & Betteshanger 22 47
9. Sevenoaks 22 45
10. Heathfield & Waldron 22 37
11. Old Dunstonians 22 22
12. Thanet Wanderers 22 3

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