Heathfield 3rds 40 vs Crowborough 3rds 0
Heathfield 3rds ended 2012 with an excellent win that sees them finish the year 2nd place in the league.
Heathfield 3rds ended 2012 with an excellent win that sees them finish the year 2nd place in the league. The score line suggests a very one sided affair but that was far from the case as a competitive Crowborough side played some good rugby at times and battled to the end. The fact that Crowborough failed to score in this game was down to a very organised and aggressive defence from the home side that on more than one occasion resulted in turnover ball and a score against the run of play.
The home side started the game well and spent the opening 10 minutes deep in the Crowborough half. Despite some very heavy rain the previous week Heathfield’s Cypress pitch was still very firm and Heathfield were keen to move the ball wide on this excellent surface. Heathfield’s back row of Skinner, Bayley and Schlieder were combing well and creating some quick ball and wing Harry Clewly had a couple of strong runs. After several attacks finally full back Craig Austin-White jinked his way past the cover to score with Matt Skinner converting 7-0.
Heathfield scored again shortly after when a penalty was kicked deep to the corner. The line out throw was adjudged not straight but then the away side were penalised for a crooked scrum feed. From the resulting free kick a quick tap saw Ian Schlieder driven over by the pack from close range 12-0.
Heathfield were playing well with forwards and backs working well together and scrum half Kieran Burdett making an excellent link between the two. The final score of the half was created by a strong forward platform at the scrum followed by a well worked backs move led by fly half Brady Burdett that created a hole for Austin-White to grab his 2nd. With Skinner on hand for the conversion the half time score was 19-0.
Crowborough came back strongly in the 2nd half and used their offloading game to great effect however a sterling defensive effort from Heathfield thwarted them at every attempt. Jez Budett in the centres was particularly strong in the tackle as was Ivan Downes who came on at 6. The front row of Evans, Borg and Kneller were playing like flankers too and this aided the brilliant cover defence. Deep in the Heathfield half some strong counter rucking resulted in a penalty to the home side. Skinner took a quick tap, made some hard yards and then put winger Oli Goldsworthy into space, the wide man drew the last defender and offloaded brilliantly to Jack Bayley in support to run in the score which Skinner converted 26-0.
Again Crowborough came back at Heathfield hard but they could not break the line. They shipped the ball wide deep inside the Heathfield half but a stray pass was picked up by Heathfield wing Harry Clewly who had the gas (and the fitness) to run the length of the field and score, he also drop kicked his own conversion 33-0.
Heathfield’s final try again came from a wide position deep in their own half, good hands from wing Goldsworth found Jez Burdett in support to run in the score. Burdett also dropped the conversion to secure the maximum points 40-0.
This was a great team effort and everyone worked for each other in attack but most importantly in defence. It was very hard to narrow down a man of the match this week as so many stood out, Jez Burdett had an excellent game but it was felt Nick Evans just edged it for his excellent work rate for the whole game.
Match Report: Simon Hollingdale
Greg Kneller, Alex Borg, Nick Evens, Paul Hookway, Kenny Lewis, Matt Skinner, Jack Bayley, Ian Schlieder, Kieran Burdett, Brady Burdett, Dan Ellis, Nick Seddon, Jez Burdett, Harry Clewly, Craig Austin-White, Alex Lester, Oli Goldsworthy, Ivan Downes, Frazer Richards, Paddy O'Hara, Mike Powderly