Pulborough’s promotion is a ‘momentous accomplishment’

ks170168-11 Spt RugPulbFolk  phot kate SUS-170325-211353008
ks170168-11 Spt RugPulbFolk phot kate SUS-170325-211353008

Pulborough captain Simon Burfiend has hailed their promotion to London 2 South East as a ‘momentous accomplishment’.

They achieved the step up to the highest level they have ever played with a game left to play and albeit with a 20-20 draw away to Park House.

It still leaves clinching the league title in their hands on Saturday if they can beat Lewes with a bonus-point win at Freelands.

While Burfiend was disappointed with this week’s draw, he hailed his players and admitted they know the job is still not done.

He said: “There were slightly bitter sweet emotions after the game. The mood in the changing rooms was obviously down, however upon reflection, what we have achieved is a momentous accomplishment for the squad and the club as a whole.

“From the start of the season we set the goal of finishing third in the league - one place better than last season. However, we have far surpassed this, and have secured promotion with a game still to play. The fact we are playing for the league title next week is another extra bonus and incentive for the boys despite already achieving so much.

“I know the squad by no means feel as though the work is done and the focus is solely on beating Lewes with a bonus point this weekend to secure the league. “

After some scrappy play on the floor, Gareth Nichols was first to react and scooped up the ball and sprinted in for the opening try. Ewan Callaway then drew in three defenders, before finding Will Scrase, who dived over.

As the heavens opened, House started to dominate possession and scored 20 unanswered points through three tries and a penalty to lead 20-10.

Half-time replacement Frazer Oliphant-Hope then executed one of his trademark chip and gather kicks, before finding Bradley Game in support for a converted try.

Borough had the chances to win the game, but were hampered by a stop-start tempo, however Oliphant-Hope did slot another penalty to level the scores and earn them the two points they needed for promotion.

Burfiend added: “We were under no illusions as to how hard travelling to Park House would be, and to come out with a draw, despite having our backs to the wall for large parts of the game is testament to how far we have come as a wider squad.”

Kick-off for Pulborough’s title decider on Saturday is 3pm.