Hellingly 1XI Vs Burgess Hill
By Jon Tutty
Loonies Finish Regular Season Unbeaten & Power Through to Top 4 Playoffs
Hellingly this week faced Burgess Hill who was considered by many as the toughest test of the season. This Loonie team though rose to the test and dominated proceedings from start to finish. Forwards coach Ben Woods had drilled the forwards hard this week and the lines run were creating gaps and committing Hills defence all over the park.
It was the scintillating performance of the backs this week though that really caught the eye. The speed and ferocity at which they attacked the space and moved the ball was outstanding. For every hole created by the forwards the backs would attack offering options that Hill could simply not cover. Man of The Match Matt Sands was the Conductor of this symphony and joined forwards to backs with accuracy and fluidity.
The first half saw the loonies score five times with the pick of them being a complete team effort from the set piece. It was a well-practiced lineout that saw Connor Stratford raise and hand off the top to scrum half David Searle who found Matt Sands and from here he bided his time using the plethora of runners as his guise and picked out the oncoming Aaron McCulloch. McCulloch stepped his marker and the ball moved through dummy runs and the hands until it came to winger Jack Cowell who deftly glided through the gaps and accelerating with such pace that from 40 yards out there was no chance of catching him.
The back three of Jack Cowell, Tom Stone and Sam Lewington-Booth who all scored tries on the day were a sight to behold. Every time they received the ball you could sense the anticipation of something special from the watching crowd. They did not disappoint!! With a backs line up that could be shuffled to accommodate any of them in any position they put Hill to the sword.
The half-finished with great work at the ruck from Scott Monk and Mark Harris which caused the Hill defence to gift a penalty to which the instant call of scrum came from Captain James Grey. The pack dominated and with a drive from fifteen yards out the Loonie pack walked the scrum back where at three yards out Grey picked and went over the line for the try.
The second half was fiercely contested with Hill raising their game and trying to claw their way back into the game. The solid defence and composure of this Hellingly team though afforded them no opportunity and with a further two scores in the half from Tom Stone and Jack Cowell put the game out of reach. With the team finishing the regular season unbeaten the playoffs are now on the horizon with two games (with bonus points) required to secure the league. Final score 41-0.
Team: Maunder, Halls, Tutty, Blaikiston, Harris, Monk, Stratford, Grey, Searle, M.Sands, McCulloch, D.Sands, Cowell, Stone, Lewington-Booth, Stenning, Padget, Ives
M.O.M: Matt Sands
Try Scorers: Cowell 2, Stone 2, Lewington-Booth, McCulloch & Grey
Conversions: Searle 3
D.O.R Comments: “This was a well-rounded performance from a team growing in confidence, to achieve 14-0 in the regular season is an outstanding achievement and has placed us in a terrific position going into the Top 4 playoff games (David Sands – Director of Rugby).