Horsham suffer heavy loss after early Belsize Park onslaught

Joe Wilde scored in the second half for Horsham at Belsize Park. Picture by Darryl Sears
Joe Wilde scored in the second half for Horsham at Belsize Park. Picture by Darryl Sears

Horsham slipped to seventh in London 1 South following a heavy 34-18 defeat at Belsize Park on Saturday.

Coming back from a remarkable 22 point deficit after 11 minutes was always going to be difficult.

Belsize Park are going through a purple patch at the moment, with their first XV having recently secured the notable scalp of Camberley on the back of promotion as champions of London 2 North West last season.

Their reward was to play sides south of the River Thames following a lateral transfer enforced by the geographic locations of teams in London & South East being promoted and relegated.

Horsham conceded three tries, two conversions and a penalty in a blistering start for Belsize Park. Thereafter the scoring was evenly balanced with Horsham having the upper hand in the scrums.

Tom Johnson scored two first half penalties as the Green and Whites went into the break 22-6 down.

Finn Hillicks and Joe Wilde added second half tries, and Johnson notched a conversion, but the deficit was too great to make up, as Belsize Park scored two further tries to seal the win.

Horsham’s backs coach Richard Bell said: “You cannot defend like we did in the first 11 minutes. We were 22-0 down and our tackling was woeful.

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“We settled down and played our way back into the game. Our scrum destroyed the Belsize scrum forcing 11 scrum penalties during the game.

“Four consecutive scrum penalties on their line late in the first half resulted in a yellow card but should have been a penalty try that could have swung the game.

“With too many handling errors, and our normally potent attack not firing, it was a frustrating afternoon.

“Special mention to the front row of Giles Barber, Nick Bell and Ciaran Preston, plus Dan Cass from the bench, who never got the rewards for their scrum dominance.

“Finn was my man of the match. He carried well, controlled our scrum ball well and scored a try.

“Next week we play top of the league Westcombe Park and we will prepare well with a focus on defence at training.”

Horsham’s forwards coach Adam Halsey added: “We were unfortunate not to convert our forward dominance into more points.

“I felt that their yellow card at the scrum after four penalties was a penalty try which would have swung the game.”