Horsham steam on with league and cup triumph

Saturday March 23
London 2 SE League Match & Bob Rogers Sussex Cup Double Header
Horsham 41 17 Haywards Heath
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
With a league promotion play off place at stake, coupled with an appearance
in the Bob Rogers Cup Final – which Horsham has won for the last five years
– there was much to play for at Hammerpond Road last Saturday and
Horsham did not disappoint the large and vociferous crowd, who were buoyed
by Mike Watts’ converted try in the opening three minutes. After Heath missed
out on a penalty opportunity, Horsham scored again, through Johnny Goward,
Tom Johnson again converting, giving Horsham an unchallenged 14-0
advantage with just a quarter of an hour gone. Play then became more level,
Heath eventually posting a try of their own before Johnson kicked a penalty,
followed by a Vince Everitt try – unconverted – for Horsham to lead 22-5 at the
break. Heath, though, came back out in fighting mode, promptly reducing the
deficit with a maximised try resulting from a close quarter ruck. However,
Horsham soon regained the initiative, Declan Nwachukwu powering over,
boosted by Johnson’s subsequent kick. Nwachukwu then scored again, on
the hour mark, this time Johnson’s normally reliable boot proving fallible. Yet,
there was no room for complacency, Heath getting over the line from a quick
tap, but it was a momentary scare, Jack Osgood adding Horsham’s final try,
which with Johnson’s tight angle conversion, gave Horsham their relatively
comfortable, but memorable 41-17 victory.
Post match Horsham Head Coach Nick Stocker said: “The prospect of playing
a confident Heath team is always a challenge and today was no different. Our
set piece worked well with the scrum dominant and the lineout securing good
ball in attacking positions. Physical aggression, particularly with the line speed
and tackle, stifled any Heath attacking aspirations, which, when all combined,
meant we had control for most of the game. In a team full of strong
performances, Kyle Fairs, Vince Everitt, Jack Osgood, Mike Watts, Declan
Nwachukwu – who notched up his 28 th try of the season during the game –
and Tom Johnson all warrant special mention, with the Man of the Match
award going to Jamie Redmayne for his leadership and excellence in defence
and attack all afternoon.”
With two league games remaining, Beckenham stay top with 86 points and
Horsham second on 80. On Saturday Horsham travel to fourth-placed Old
Colfeians, looking to avenge both the narrow home defeat at their hands in
December and elimination from the cup by a larger margin last month. Then,
for the final league match of the season, Horsham return home on April 6 th to
welcome Maidstone (10 th ), whom they despatched 50-23 in Kent in the  first week of the campaign.

picture: Try scorer, Declan Nwachukwu

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