For the second year in a row, Heathfield Ladies have won their league title. This year they have won the RFU National Challenge South East 2. The league table can be seen at https://www.englandrugby.com/fixtures-and-results/competitions/womens-competitions/2018-2019/group/26513#/table
They finished level on league points with Cranbrook but are top because of a much superior points difference. It can also be noted that they beat Cranbrook in both matches between the clubs.
The title was secured without them playing as Cranbrook today fulfilled the only remaining fixture and did not score enough points to overhaul Heathfield.
Heathfield only lost one league game all season and even that was in dubious circumstances.
A major feature of the team has been the style of play. Some of the opponents have been heavily forward based and Heathfield have often had to deal with significantly larger opposition forwards. However Heathfield have been able to secure adequate ball and have tried to play open rugby. They have often won games through a clear edge in pace and skill out wide.
Top try scorer is three quarter Emily Sowell. Sadly for Heathfield she will be playing most of her rugby at Guildford next year and has been noticed by the Harlequins Academy. We wish her well there and will watch her progress at higher levels with pride – there are more like her being recruited and coming through the junior sections.
The team has been led from the front by captain Becky Taylor. Much credit also goes to coaches Chris Ambrosino and Fraser Goatcher who have produced a winning team from a group of people who mostly had never played before. The team is managed by Harriet Mason Pearson.
A few players have moved away during the season but many more have joined. There are also thriving U13, U15 and U18 squads so the pipeline of players is well established. Several have also been selected for the appropriate Sussex squads.
Next season they will play in RFU National Challenge South East 1 but there is confidence that this team will be competitive at this higher level.
Next Sunday Heathfield are holding an open day for anyone who wants to find out if they might enjoy this growing sport. Current players will be on hand to join in some games and basic training activities. Absolutely no experience needed and anyone from 12 years old upwards will be very welcome at Cross In Hand – Sunday 7th April 1.00 till 3.00pm.
Updated 13:31 - 10 May 2019 by Philip Bell