Haywards Heath travelled away to Ashford in what turned out to be a very physical encounter.
In the opening passage of play there was a long period when both sets of forwards were trying to get the upper hand on the pitch. Heath took some time to settle into the pattern of play they wanted to execute but once the right platform was established, Heath’s backs showed their pace when a great run from Robbie Fotheringham was fed to Henry Warwick who went over to put the first points on the board and in so doing scored his first try for Heath 1st XV. The conversion was missed making it 0-5 to Heath after 15 minutes of play.
The away supporters then had to wait a further twenty minutes for Heath to re-exert their control with the ball and to witness a complete reverse of the first try in terms of contributing team members. This time there was a break by Warwick who popped the ball to Fotheringham who went over the line to score in almost exactly the same spot. Again no conversion making the score 0-10. Just before half time Heath were awarded a penalty and they used the opportunity to put daylight between the teams, kicking the points and taking the score at the break to 0-13 to Heath.
Heath emerged in the second half with renewed determination and controlled much of the play without adding to the scoreline until Harry Preston Bell made a great interception on the half way line, weaved his way through two players and sprinted the rest of the pitch to score an important try. It was not a great day for kicking with no conversion and the frustration continued when a few minutes later Sam Drage went over for what looked to everyone as a legitimate score only for the referee to rule that there had been a knock on so no try was given.
Despite the physical nature of the encounter, Heath kept their concentration and their heads and in the closing period Jamie Diggle was able to score a fourth try and secure the all-important maximum league points for Heath.
Another vital win for Heath leaving the team sitting fourth in London 3 South East, just one point behind Lewes. Another weekend off next Saturday due to the forthcoming Six Nations Internationals, with Heath’s next match being an important encounter at home against Thanet Wanderers on Saturday 11 February, kick off at Whitemans Green at 2.30pm.