Hellingly 1st XV welcomed Seaford to Horsebridge Rec on Saturday in front of a packed crowd. The game started with Hellingly dominating possession and territory only to be withheld by a strong Seaford defence, however the constant Hellingly attack soon became too much as Number 8 James Grey picked from the back of a dominant scrum to crash over the line from 15m out, with Huw Jones slotting the conversation to make the game 7-0.
Hellingly soon became under pressure due to failure to secure the resulting restart allowing Seaford a foothold in their half which led to a well taken penalty giving Seaford their first points of the game, 7-3. The match soon followed the early pattern of Hellingly dominance with both possession and territory leading to Ian Padgetfinishing off a great wide move, 12-3. Having not learnt from their mistake a mirror image of the first Seaford kick off occurred resulting in Hellingly giving away a another kickable penalty which the Seaford fly half took, 12-6.
Frustrated by their costly errors Hellingly marched back into Seaford’s 22 allowing quick recycled ball to be given to Paul Smith who crashed over the line to give Hellingly breathing room, Huw Jones added the conversation to make it 19-6. With momentum on their side Hellingly were going through the gears looking for the 4th bonus point try before half time until the Seaford winger latched onto a dropped ball to run 80m untouched under the posts, half time score 19-13.
Almost as soon as the second half whistle blew the heavens opened preventing either team from playing the fast expansive rugby seen in the first half. With a much more balanced half Seaford were first to get onto the score sheet with a further penalty bringing the scores to 19-16, with the score close and the rugby being played in the middle of the pitch it took a Phil Ives break with a pass inside to Sam Lewington Booth to put the game to bed, ensuring Hellingly ran out 26-16 winners and secured all 5 points.
The game was played with great intensity and remarkable Hellingly defence proved the difference between the sides with a special mention of Mark Harris who secured countless turnovers throughout the match.
The RJ Cortel Man of the Match was awarded to Phil Ives. Hellingly look to continue their winning start with an away trip to Horsham this weekend.
Starting XV: James M, Dan D, Paul S, Chris S, Connor S, Mark H, Phil I, James G, David S, Matt S, Charlie M, Aaron M, Huw J, Tom S, Ian P.
Subs: Sam S, Lewis A, Sam LB.