Haywards Heath fired to victory by five-try Bridges
An entertaining game of rugby saw Haywards Heath run out 62-36 winners over Crowborough 2nd XV in front of a sizeable crowd at Whitemans Green.
The home side were quickly up and running with the pace of Roscoe Atkins opening up the visitors’ defence.
After a couple of missed opportunities, a well worked ball came to second row Dan Shotton to score under the posts and set the tone for the afternoon. Chris Neill converted for 7-0.
Another Atkins attack saw the Crowborough defence in trouble leaving skipper Neill to pick up and score for 14-0.
A missed touch from Heath saw Crowborough pull a try back and then a yellow card saw Heath down to 14 men and resulted in the home side quickly conceding two more tries to put the visitors in front at 14 -19.
However a break down the blind side from Fred Fulford-Smith set up a try for Wilf Bridges in the corner to square things up at 19-19 at half time.
Five minutes into the second half a high tackle from Crowborough saw them reduced to 14 men whereupon the floodgates opened in terms of try scoring.
From the ensuing penalty Heath won the lineout and recycled the ball for Steve May to score under the posts followed from the kick off by Bridges sprinting in for his second and a 29-19 scoreline, putting clear water back between the sides.
A quick tap penalty in his own half followed by a kick and chase saw Bridges touch down for his third try of the day and a 34-19 lead.
Further good play from the Heath forwards took them into the Crowborough 22 where the returning Gareth Fergusson crashed his way through to make it 41-19 before Crowborough manged to breakout and pull a try back for 41-26
Heath were straight back again with Fergusson and Atkins combining down the left to set up a try for Fraser Russell, before more smart inter-passing saw Bridges under the posts for yet another score.
Crowborough heads had still not dropped and a battling try saw them pull the scoreboard back to 55-31.
Bridges finished his exceptional day with his fifth try coming from a phase one crash ball off a scrum - which was converted by Neill for 62-31.
There was still just about time for a final consolation try for the visitors before the final whistle confirmed that Heath had won..
Heath now sit second in the Sussex 2 going into the all-important next two fixtures against Ditchling and current leaders Shoreham.
Coach Martin McTaggart will have been pleased to get the win after last week's blip away at Hove, but still has plenty to work on in terms of consistency of performance across the team.