Just three points in it again as Heathcomplete a welcome league double

Haywards Heath completed a tight London 1 South double over Beckenham when they beat them 20-17 in appalling conditions at Whitemans Green on Saturday.

Monday, 1st April 2013, 4:00 pm

Only three points separated them in the previous match back in mid-November (25-22) and this time conditions dictated there would be plenty of handling errors.

Hopes of a flowing game were also hampered by Heath struggling to understand the referee’s interpretation of the laws at scrum and breakdown. This led to numerous penalties and yellow cards.

The visitors started the brighter and midway through the half scored two tries to build a useful 12-0 lead. The first came when their wing intercepted a loose pass to run over unopposed and then the centre broke through.

Heath finally aroused from their slumbers and from a second penalty in quick succession Joe Feldman darted over.

At that point Heath were dominating the scrums but their hopes of closing the 5-12 deficit were hit by a yellow card for Al Harle and injury that led to Mark Cashman being stretchered off.

No points were conceded while Heath were down to 14 but on Harle’s return the influential Huw Jenkins suffered worrying shoulder and neck pains. It was decided not to move him until an ambulance arrived and after a 20-minute delay when the teams retired to the clubhouse, it was agreed to complete the match on another pitch.

Within five minutes Owain Jenkins kicked a penalty and then not long after his crossfield kick was gathered by Harle, who scored near the posts to leave Jenkins a routine conversion. This proved the best spell of the game for Heath and they stretched their lead to 20-12 when another Jenkins kick through this time enabled Harry Appleton to score an unconverted try.

That purple patch ended when replacement Josh Salisbury was yellow carded and Beckenham cashed in on their superior numbers by scoring their third try,

The return of Salisbury signalled another spell of Heath pressure but two kickable penalties were missed before with just a few minutes remaining they suffered their third yellow card when John Sage was adjudged to have tripped an opponent.

Results elsewhere meant that Heath retained eighth position and with one more win in their last three games would be absolutely guaranteed of staying in London 1.

Haywards Heath U16s emerged as Sussex Champions on Sunday after a brutal encounter against Hove.

In bitterly cold conditions, Heath’s pack continued from where they left off in October’s league clash by bullying Hove’s forwards into submission.

But it was Hove who scored first after five minutes of quality play from their county and England backs.

Heath responded positively