Pulborough Rugby Club’s first team continued their assault on two fronts by reaching the semi-finals of the Sussex Shield with a 15-3 victory away at Crawley.
The Sussex 1 league leaders stayed strong against the second placed team in extremely tough conditions to set up a semi-final away at bottom side Rye.
Skipper Richard Nicholls, watching because of injury, said: “It was a fantastic match especially because the conditions were terrible. It was a quagmire of a pitch and a hard-fought game, even though we were always ahead it was only really comfortable once we’d scored our last penalty.”
Ollie Combe Tenant marked his first game back from university with both tries. On both occasions he broke through a number of tackles to plough over, one of them converted by Si Burfiend.
Crawley responded with a penalty to trail 12-3 at the break, and with the wind now with them the hosts pushed forward in the second half to keep ‘Boro on the back foot.
Pulborugh though stayed strong in defence to keep their hosts at bay and they sealed victory and progression when Burfiend landed a kick from 22m out to ease any nerves.
Richards said of openside flanker Combe-Tenant: “He’s just back for the Christmas period, he’s been representing Cambridge in an under-21 varsity match and he’s an extremely good player who will help us while he’s around.”
Nicholls is targeting a famous league and cup double but warned: “Rye away is always a tough place to go and they beat Seaford in the cup so who knows what side they’ll put out.”