In difficult conditions Hellingly faced a very enthusiastic and determined Ditchling side who gave a performance that is not suggestive of their league position. From the first whistle both teams used their big ball carriers to try and break the game line running good lines.
It was the Loonie pack that gave opportunity for the ever consistent nine, ten pairing of Dave Searle and Matt Sands to orchestrate the ball moving through hands for the backs to apply pressure to the Ditchling defence. This pressure caused Ditchling to knock on and present the Loonie pack an opportunity they thrive on, a scrum. The drive forward resulted in Captain James Grey making his now trademark pick up and carry from the base, side stepping and setting up for the next set of phases. On the third phase the acute awareness, good hands and explosive power of Loose Head Prop James Maunder gave the Loonies their first score. The Loose Head spotted his opportunity when a small gap appeared left by the shuffling defence. He picked and accelerated driving three Ditchling players back over the line to place the ball down for a score reminiscent of fellow Cornishman Trevor Woodman.
For the next fifteen minutes the play went back and forth with both teams exchanging scores, Phil Ives scoring Hellinglys second. Hellingly began to settle and ease into their game going through the phases, sapping the energy from the combative defence. With the perfect combination of forwards to backs movement opportunity was again created for a Dave Searle pin point pass to the oncoming Ives whose perfect line took him through two defenders and over for his second try.
The half-finished with the best move of the game. Again the pressure applied caused Ditchling to give away a penalty and with the referee giving advantage fly half Matt Sands showed why he is considered as one of the best with great match play awareness and exquisite skill, placing a perfect kick deep into the corner for winger Jack Cowell to majestically dive forward between two and take the catch for the score.
If the first half was a tale of forward play the second was very much a tale of Hellingly’s perilously quick and clinical backs putting the game to rest. As Ditchling tired the mistakes began to creep in. The back three of Tom Stone, Jack Cowell and Sam Cosham along with centres David Sands and Ian Padget began to combine and tear the defence apart with runs and handling that resulted in James Grey going over in the corner and Jack Cowell scoring a further two for his hat trick. The pick of Cowells two being a sprint from inside his own half, ghosting past five Ditchling players to score under the posts. Final Score 48 – 12.
A special congratulation goes to Rob Vint this week for making his first team debut and also a welcome return to Matt Hayllar returning after recovering from an operation.
Team: Maunder, Halls, Tutty, Blakiston, Ives, Stratford, Hayllar, Grey, Searle, M.Sands, Stone, D.Sands, Padget, Cosham, Cowell, Stenning, Monk, Vint
Tries: Cowell 3 Ives 2 Maunder 1 Grey 1
Conversions: Searle 4
M.O.M: Jack Cowell
DOR Comments: "I loved today because we won, I just Love winning. There is nothing better than winning! Winning makes me feel warm inside. Knowing we are winners!! (David Sands - DOR)