Horsham missed out on their last chances of silverware with a brave, yet hard-fought 43-16 semi-final defeat to a Crowborough side pushing for promotion from the league above.
The Green and Whites played with the wind at their backs in the first half and stunned the more fancied Crowborough side with the intensity of their play. Although Billy Ropiha went over to score for Crowborough in the right hand corner after six minutes, it was to be their last score until late in the half as Horsham applied concerted pressure.
Matt Goodsir crossed the line to immediately reply for Horsham after Jonathan Whiting’s surging run, and after a try-saving tackle from Sam Bell, and two booming penalty kicks from captain Matt Brown saw Horsham take a shock 11-5 lead.
Joe Wilde was just tackled on the line, but Crows showed their clinical side with two tries in two minutes to lead 17-11 at the break, and four tries after the break gave them an in the end comfortable win, despite a late consolation try from prop Alan Jones.
Horsham coach Nick Stocker said: “We were always going to be underdogs against a side riding high in the league above.”