Damp end to Horsham RFC’s season with home defeat to Gillingham Anchorians

Wet weekend. Horsham captain Matt Brown was one of three injuries for the hosts

Wet weekend. Horsham captain Matt Brown was one of three injuries for the hosts

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The final match of the season didn’t go to plan for Horsham as they went down 16-3 to Gillingham Anchorians in atrocious conditions at Coolhurst on Saturday.

Having thrashed Pulborough on the same ground seven days before, the Green and Whites paid for not making more of a strong start as the Kent visitors played the conditions better to score the game’s only try and complete a deserved double over Horsham.

The hosts spent the first ten minutes camped on their visitors’ try line but had only a Joe Wilde penalty to show for their early dominance, and from Wilde’s excellent kick Tyler Aitken spilled a chance to score over the try line in the wet.

Gillingham then scored a converted try with a powerful driving maul from a line out to lead 10-3 at the break. The visitors, with an increasingly gusty wind now at their backs, dominated the early exchanges of the second half but some dogged Horsham defence limited them to only increase their lead through a penalty in front of the posts.

Horsham did come back into the match late on, but inevitable handling errors in the relentless rain hampered their territorial gain and as conditions worsened both sides suffered a number of injuries before Gillingham sealed the win with a penalty right at the end.

Still Uckfield’s defeat at Ashford means Horsham didn’t slip a position and finish the season in sixth place in the London 3 SE table.

Pulborough meanwhile ended their first season in the London leagues with a 46-0 defeat away at Tunbridge Wells to finish second bottom and make a return straight back to Sussex 1.