Horsham still searching for first win of the season

Horsham’s poor form continued, this time with a 25-15 defeat in their first-ever visit to Battersea Ironsides.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 2:54 pm
Kyle Fairs was named as Horsham's man of the match in their defeat at Battersea Ironsides

The fixtures don’t get easier with table topping London Welsh up next.

The Green and Whites started quickly with a long range penalty kick converted by Oli Chennell from just inside the opposition half.

Despite a good defensive set that pushed Ironsides back from five metres out to halfway, a loose pass found Ironsides hands and with the line broken, and after the ball was kept alive through several sets of hands Charlie Craig scored a well finished try from 25 yards out which was converted by Henry Campbell.

Ironsides attacked again from the kick-off however a Will Bell interception and 70-yard run relieved the situation until he was caught and tackled.

An Ironsides player was yellow carded for coming in at the side and following pressure in opposition half, and an upping of pace a quick tap saw Aaron Linfield score and take a narrow 7-8 lead after 15 minutes.

Horsham were however getting on the wrong side of the referee and conceding penalties at the scrum and at the breakdown which were twice kicked by Campbell to regain a 13-8 lead.

Ironsides were opening up the Green and White defence with their offloading and inter passing but Horsham could also be accused of falling off tackles.

A Will Bell last ditch tackle saved a certain try but then a series of errors saw field position given up and Tom McCallum run into score after some good support play as Ironsides took an 18-8 lead into the half time break.

A resurgent Horsham dominated the early exchanges in the second half, despite losing Emmet O’Rahilly to a head injury and Jordan Bell to a shoulder injury but lacked composure in the opposition 22 metre area with several opportunities spurned.

But on 61 minutes Will Bell scored a fine try following good inter passing with Henry Warwick and direct carrying in forwards with the backs joining in and finishing well. The try was well converted by Chennell and it was now a three point game.

The pressure was all from Horsham now and they drove over the line a couple of times but no score was awarded as the referee could not clearly see that the ball had been grounded.

And on 75 minutes, against the run of play and on their first entry into Horsham’s 22 metre area in the entire half, Vince Young sealed a 25-15 win after a break from his fly-half.

There was still time for Jack Osgood to make a powerful surge over the line supported by his forwards but the try was not given.

Horsham head of rugby, Nick Stocker, said: “We didn’t have the rub of the green this afternoon and on another day would have won comfortably.

"We were too profligate with our possession in the second half epitomised by being held up over the line on four separate occasions and still couldn’t finish it off.

"Our set piece was much better today with the line out in particular functioning well, and the scrum proving good possession.

"However once entering the 22 meter we seemed to go off script and resultantly failed in our completions. The overriding emotion being one that got away.

"Adam Clarkson in his first start for some time was excellent in his line out work, calling well and stealing possession when needed.

"He was ably supported by Jordan Smith and Nick Bell who were also excellent in their work rate around the park. Charles Newey had another physical game and is growing nicely into a mobile physical prop.

"In the backs, Will Bell showed his composure and leadership throughout and finished a good try, whereas Aaron Linfield had a busy day with great snipes, good passing and a well taken try.

"However, with excellent carries, and a near perfect line out throwing performance, Kyle Fairs was awarded man of the match.

"Next week we welcome league leaders London Welsh for our first ever encounter”.