Hellingly 1st XV vs Burges Hill 1st XV
By Jon Tutty
Triumph Once Again For Hellingly in Hard Fought Battle
Hellingly took to the field this week to face Burges Hill. Burgess Hill certainly came prepared and looking to reverse the score from the last time these two met. The conditions for this game were never going to allow the free flowing game these two teams enjoy. From the start the big ball carriers found themselves very busy trying to gain the yards playing phase after phase. Strong support play from the pack and intelligent decision making from Hellingly Captain James Grey and fly half Matt Sands saw Hellingly gaining the yards desired. Hill though had a resolute defence and a never say die attitude that you know will be there from first whistle to last!
Early on handling errors came due to the conditions which gave the Hellingly pack the opportunity to set the tone for what was to come. Even with the soft conditions underfoot the tight and controlled execution saw the Loonie pack send Hill back toward their line with each scrum. The telling moment of the half came when Hill gave away a penalty. It was here, twenty meters out, the Loonie pack showed as it has all year its dominance when they took yard after yard sending the Hill pack all the way back over their own try line and James Grey place the ball down for the first score. This continued with both sides trying to break one another and just before the half Hill surged with phase after phase from their forwards, camping five yards out from the Hellingly try line. Try as they did though they could not break the Hellingly defence. Tackle after tackle came as Hill attempted to work the ball across the line and find the weak link. This was a link they were not successful in finding. Every carry was met with a ferocity and a desire not to concede that would not be broken. Tackle after tackle came until eventually Hill conceded a penalty and turned possession back to Hellingly.
The second half again saw both teams pick up where they left off. The physicality of this game was on a level that had the watching spectators waiting to see which side would wain first. The crowd were to be left waiting as these two titans battled to the very end. These are two teams who do not willingly ever take a backward step. Hellingly continued to work hard and try and create opportunities with Jack Cowell coming close only to be held up at the line. It was going to take something special from someone who was willing to take the game by the scruff of the neck and win it for their side. This happened for Hellingly when Thomas Stone picked up the ball inside his own half and showed the frightening pace and intelligence that has established him as one of the league’s best wingers as he attacked the Hill defence, stepping through gaps, showing great strength in the tackle and accelerating to the line for the score.
Hill then applied late pressure putting together the phases but again the defence resolute. Hellingly were reduced to thirteen during this period but showed a desire and togetherness that saw Hill camped ten meters out for the next ten minutes. Again as they did earlier Hill continued to try and find that weak link, some one tired or not willing to tackle and again could not be found. Hill did score with thirty seconds to go and it was from a strong run from their centre that found a small gap and the forwards drove in behind to push him over from two yards out. Hill could not do anything from the restart as Hellingly got the ball back within two phases through some excellent rucking and kicked the ball into touch to end the game.
Captain James Grey Commented, "We hold a lot of respect for Burgess Hill, veterans of Sussex 1 and LSE3. Beating Burgess Hill is never an easy task, so having played each other twice already and weather conditions that many would say suit a Burgess Hill style of play, it was always going to be a tough game.
I am really pleased with how we fronted up to the challenge and ultimately came away with our unbeaten run in tact. We must now regroup, work hard over the next two weeks and be ready to take on East Grinstead on 17.2.2018. We are one step closer to promotion into LSE3 and we have every intention of securing this objective in the next game."
Director Of Rugby David Sands Commented "Today we achieved glory on the most glorious of days. Teams that have the goal of glory together can be the most glorious and wondrous teams of all. Todays result glorified everyone involved at the club from the players to the supporters, you could see the happiness in everyone's face from achieving such glory. The passion and desire shown today was glorious and I am proud of everyone. We now look forward to achieving glory in our next game and securing a glorious promotion to LSE3. That warm feeling inside is still there and that can only be a thing of glory."
Final Score: 10 - 7
Try Scorers: Grey, Stone
M.O.M: Tom Stone