Hellingly 0, Haywards Heath 25: Heath sneak bonus point in tricky conditions

Heavy mud underfoot made playing conditions tricky v Hellingly
Heavy mud underfoot made playing conditions tricky v Hellingly

After a pitch inspection and discussions with the referee over the conditions it was decided to go ahead with a strong possibility of the game being called off at any time as conditions deteriorated once the 30 guys cut up the deep muddy pitch.

Playing on probably the most challenging pitch of the season so far - more a kin to a ploughed field than a rugby field – but nonetheless thankful that the match got the go-ahead, Heath set to work in strong gusty winds to tackle a much heavier, solid Hellingly pack, with conditions favouring the home side rather than the speedy backs of Heath.

Eventually after persistent pressure Heath was awarded a penalty and Casey Calder kicked the three points to get the scoreboard started.

Heath were straight back onto attack from the restart and found themselves knocking on the Hellingly try line again, after a clearance kick by Hellingly, Heath countered with Jack Lucas and Jamie Diggle combining well to send Diggle over in the corner and taking the score to 8-0.

Hellingly came back strongly and pinned Heath within their 22, but Heath’s defence managed to absorb the strong attack and cleared out to over the half way line, securing the ball and building pressure again.

Heath were rewarded with a try with George Harris crashing over taking two defenders with him. Casey Calder added the conversion and the score ticked over to 15-0 at half time.

Playing the second half with the wind, Heath again began to make inroads in the Hellingly third, with the Heath scrum starting to assert some dominance over their larger opposition.

Another Hellingly clearance was fielded by the Heath backline and a strong counter attack was rewarded with a try to Jack Lucas. With the conversion straying wide, the score moved to 20-0.

With the pitch cutting up and the light fading, Heath was again on the attack inside the Hellingly half, and was awarded a penalty with time up on the clock and still needing another try for a bonus point.

Heath captain Casey Calder set off from a quick tap and after controlled phases Jack Best crossed the line and with a final score of 25-0, Heath secured the all-important bonus point that keeps them at the top of Sussex Spitfire League 1.

Next Heath 1st XV match is on 12 December at home to Seaford and, as it is Christmas lunch in the Clubhouse, a large crowd is expected - all welcome, kick off 2.15pm.

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