Uckfield U16s 0 Haywards Heath U16s 54
Haywards Heath gained a resounding victory to defeat Uckfield to clinch the league title.
After the downpour on Saturday had made conditions heavy underfoot, Sunday was virtually Spring-like with almost ideal rugby playing conditions, with only a swirling wind to challenge the kickers.
Heath dominated from the start and Daniel Grant was first on the score sheet after three minutes with a typical short range driving run to the try line, carrying a few tacklers with him.
Adam Southern was next to score on six minutes, using his power and strength to burst through a number of tacklers and shortly after it was the Heath captain, Bobby Collins who was on the scoresheet.
William Goodwin was successful with the conversion to make it 0-17 and an early Heath lead.
The fourth and bonus point try came when prop Adrian Illes was able to showcase his immense strength, forcing his way over the line near to the corner. 0-22 did not flatter Heath’s dominance during the opening quarter.
Heath continued in the same vein scoring two more tries before half-time through Grant’s second and a first for James Watson and it was only the excellent defensive skills of the Uckfield full back that kept them from scoring more. The half-time score stood at 0-32.
Reminded of the potential similarities to the previous day’s England game against Scotland and with the wind favouring Uckfield in the second half, it was important the squad remained focused and avoiding any signs of complacency.
With seven changes to the Heath ranks at half-time, it was important for the team to settle quickly and prevent any significant momentum shifts. After a fairly even opening 10 minutes of play, it was Christian Streater who opened the scoring for Heath in the second half, showing some excellent footwork to skip through the Uckfield defence. Southern then got his second try and Goodwin fought the wind to secure the conversion, making the score 0-44.
As full-time approached, Kai Jutson scored for 0-49 and the Heath team then battered the Uckfield defensive line for the last five minutes in an attempt to take the score in their last league match as the under-16s past a half century.
There was also a strong team desire to get the ball to Grant so that he could complete his hat-trick.
This came with the last play of the game when the ball was fed to Grant who crashed over from short range. The whistle blew on a resounding 0-54 win for Heath and an impressive unbeaten league record this season.
This group of boys will be moving on as Heath Colts next season and anyone aged 16 to 17 who would like to join them on their journey are welcome to contact Heath Youth Rugby and its coaches via the Heath website at www.hhrfc.co.uk