Pulborough lose lead in promotion race, but skipper is upbeat

Pulborough lost more of their lead in the London 3 South East promotion race as they were beaten 20-7 by Haywards Heath.

It was second-placed ‘Borough’s third loss in four games in the league, with their 100 per cent winning run ending with a torrid run of form. They now trail leaders Thanet by five points and lead Lewes on points difference, with Folkestone four points behind in fourth and Heath five behind.

It was one that got away against Heath as ‘Borough failed to make their first-half dominance pay, but captain Simon Burfiend says they are still confident. He said: “Going in to the Christmas break we are still sat in second place however Heath and Lewes are now right on our tales.

“We are feeling confident still, however, every game counts now and we can’t afford to slip up again like we did at Folkestone, which is the game that has really affected the league standings.

“The boys are looking forward to a well-deserved Christmas break and with a nice string of matches coming up, we will be ready to get back on top place in the new year.

‘Borough had the early dominance and playing down the hill, found themselves camped in the Heath half, however could not convert chances to points.

With frustration beginning to show, Heath had a string of penalties and two yellow cards to show for it. Pulborough capitalised as Nick Haynes out paced his opponents to score just to the right of the posts, with Burfiend converting.

In the second half, Heath kicked off and went on a rampaging forward drive and Peter Kerins scored from a pick-up-and-go chance. Josh Salisbury also crashed over and Kerins put over a penalty to complete a 13-7 turnaround.

Pulborough were then denied a losing bonus point as Sam Drage broke through multiple tackles to score and Kerins converted.

Burfiend added: “It was an extremely frustrating game, with the domination in the first half, we simply didn’t put enough points on the board as Heath were always going to come back strong.”

Pulborough: Baxter, Denman, Pascall, Nicholls, Reede, Coombe-Tennant, Mcloughlin, West, Paige, G.Lee, Scrase, Burfiend, Burnett, Callaway, Haynes. Subs: O.Clarke, B.Clarke, Bullock.

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