Horsham under-14s almost conjured up a sparkling comeback in their 38-24 defeat to Hove, as Pulborough under-14s saw off Heathfield.
Trailing Hove - who were not intimidated by the Horsham attempts to support Movember - 24-0 at the break after Hove’s pace and power proved too much, the Young Green and Whites galvanised themselevs to produce a spirited second half display.
Three tries from Ben Murphy, man of the match James Purbrick and Sam Cole, plus two fine conversions by Ollie Joels put Horsham back within touching distance.
But just as Horsham were starting to win the psychological game, Hove’s two big point scorers from the first first added another brace of tries to add a gloss to the scoreline - although Horsham hit back again with a second try from Ben Murphy.
Pulborough under-14s beat Heathfield & Waldron 24-14 in a nailbiting encounter, gaining revenge for last year’s defeat at Freelands.
A powerful start from the visitors had Pulborough in the back foot, and only a series of smart ball steals in the back row from Ben Kidner, John Matthews and Jack Wheaton and clearances by George Lee kept them at bay. The bigger Heathfield pack were pushing Boro around, but met their match in the set piece. That set the tone for a match of attrition as Pulborough started to gain a foothold in the game, and Charlie Treasure sprinted in for the opening try.
Towards the end of the half Pulborough’s Nick van Pelt had been held-up over the line following a short run from a very clean line-out catch but then Heathfield’s big centre broke through several tackles and was away to dot down before the extras were added to give them a 7-5 half time lead.
Pulborough responded to their half time team talk in fine fashion. very strong scrum with quick hands through Venn-Scrase-Temple then put wingman Ciaran Keating in at the corner for a 10-7 advantage.
But a series of big hits pushed Pulborough backwards and when Heathfield’s big winger sped round the outside to score under the posts, the visitors reclaimed the lead, 14-10.
By now, points were being traded at a furious pace, as a trade-mark bursting run from Jacob Temple under the posts put Pulborough in front again with George Lee converting.
It was 17-14 to Boro’ with seven minutes to go. Heathfield then applied relentless pressure, with huge try saving tackles from Jack Wheaton and Jacob Temple keeping them at bay. Boro then broke clear and with Keating’s try converted by Lee, Heathfield had finally been seen off.