Ditchling clinch promotion on last day
After a very long and weather hit season, Ditchling RFC finished with mix results for their two sides.
The 2nd XV went into their final game at home to Eastbourne knowing a win would confirm promotion to Sussex 2 East. The result was never in doubt as a very determined team beat the visitors 87 - 7. This was great reward for a season full of success after the squad only recently beat Hove to win the Sussex Salver. They showed during some games that they belonged in a higher league after winning many games with what was a cricket score.
Ditchling 2nd XV only reformed three seasons ago after the club saw a big influx in players. Being a new side, they had to start in the bottom league but with the talent they had in their squad and have gained recently, it was only a matter of time before the squad gelled and the results started coming in.
Ditchling President and 2nd XV manager, Justin Wallden said “This season we have been playing at a higher level. The guys have worked really hard and stayed professional throughout, even when games were going our way. Next season will be a step up against tougher opposition but quietly we think we can make it two promotions in succession”.
The 1st XV on the other hand, narrowly missed out on promotion to Sussex 1. This would have been the teams 3rd promotion in 5 years which shows the development it has made. Unfortunately a couple of games over the Christmas period where injuries were high and resources were stretched meant they lost top stop after a strong start and then ground on the leaders. The did get back to winning ways but could only manage third. This was though great progress on last year when they were fighting relegation with a couple of weeks of the season left.
Ditchling Chairman, Rob Becvar summarises the season “All in all this has been a very successful season for the club. The 2’s had a tremendous season by winning the Sussex Salver and promotion and the 1’s missed out on promotion by the skin of their teeth. We have already set our goals for next year and while the players rest the management committee are already putting in place actions to hit our targets. Already sorted is our pre-season training camp which will be hosted by an Ex-England Head Coach and current England Saxon. Details will be released soon but these are just some of the reasons why Ditchling RFC is attracting quality players who maybe should be playing at a higher level. We find some of our resources and contacts cannot be matched by similar sized clubs. We will be carrying out a big recruitment drive shortly with our pre-season being the headline but in the meantime if anyone is looking for a new club in the area, they should look at our website”.