Uckfield 1s 6, Thanet Wands 20. Uckfield returned to league action and welcomed the form team of the moment, Thanet who currently sit on top of the league.
There were new faces and chances in the Uckfield side, the front row welcomed the mythical but always welcomed figure of Steve Andre who played his first game this season, he was joined in the pack by Oli Parke-Gailey who stepped into the 2nd row for his first game in 2 years. Danny Hemsley also returned to the side and made an impact in the front and back row of the pack. The back line had a more familiar feel with Charlie Buckland at 10, Tom Ward at 12 and Gregg Chappell, Tom George at 14 and 15 respectively.
The weather had been a discussion point all week but the hard work of the ground staff meant that the Acorns field was in a fit (all be it muddy) state to be played on. It also meant that Uckfield and Bromley were the only teams to have fields fit for play in the league this weekend. Uckfield started brightly with the wind at their backs but the conditions were not conducive to expansive play, Buckland tried to pin the heavy Thanet pack back in their 22.
These tactics worked to a certain extent and at the break Uckfield were 6-5 up thanks to 2 penalty goals from Buckland. As the teams turned round the wind picked up and the heavens opened, this made things even more difficult for both teams but Thanet’s much heavier pack controlled the ball well and as the rains eased Thanet strung together some tight phase play and scored 3 tries, Uckfield fought back but struggled to keep control of the ball and the Thanet fly half punished any turn overs judging the wind expertly to push Uckfield back towards their own line.
Final score Uckfield 1s 6, Thanet Wands 20
Uckfield will be pleased and should feel that they have taken another step forwards in their development. Next week the Acorns travel to Old Dunstonians who will be a tough prospect on their home turf!
Uckfield line up- S.Andre, H.Smith, D.Hemsley, O.Parke-Gailey, S.Hartfield, M.Evans, J.Greenwood, M.Caket, J.Newcomb, C.Buckland, L.Evans, T.Ward, M.Chappell, G.Chappell, T.George, A.Palmer, R.Gothard, T.Keogh