Horsham up to fifth after win against old foes Dartfordians

The returning Tom Johnson (centre) put in a flawless kicking display in Horshams win over Dartfordians. All pictures by Darryl Sears
The returning Tom Johnson (centre) put in a flawless kicking display in Horshams win over Dartfordians. All pictures by Darryl Sears

Horsham secured their fourth win following promotion against old rivals Dartfordians 38-22 to climb to fifth in London 1 South in wet conditions at Coolhurst played in front of a large crowd.

Dartfordians have had a difficult start to the season without any wins so far although in mitigation they have played all the candidates for promotion.

Jordan Smith, being lifted at the line out, was Horsham's man of the match against Dartfordians

Jordan Smith, being lifted at the line out, was Horsham's man of the match against Dartfordians

Head coach Nick Stocker said: “A pleasing result against our old foes Dartfordians and encouraging to see the progress that the squad have made in recent years.

“With a new front and back row, an untried combination in the centres and key experience still on the sidelines, a bonus point win in wet conditions is a great result.”

Horsham started quickly when Frankie Smith made a great line break to score in the first minute which was well converted by Tom Johnson.

The Green and Whites then conceded a penalty at the breakdown which was slotted by Mike Briggs from Dartfordians, followed by a good kick through in attack by Smith which saw field position and a line out drive by the forwards for Mike Tredgett to score. 14-3.

On 31 minutes a charge down by Johnson saw the ball regathered and Jordan Bell in support made a clever kick in field for Smith following up to score which was well converted by Johnson.

Dartfordians immediately responded with a try from Ryan Chandler following a line break and good patience to score.

On the stroke of half-time Horsham secured their four try bonus point from a scrum which saw Johnson power over to score which he converted. 28-8.

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Dartfordians had a far better second half and Sam Allen went over to score which was converted by Briggs.

Horsham came back when Josh Sudder score his debut try out wide, which was well converted by Johnson from the touchline. The Green and Whites then extended their lead with a thumping penalty from Johnson 48 metres out.

The visitors continued to battle away and in the final play of the game Allen scored his second try converted by Briggs.

Stocker added: “We dominated territory in the first half and were clinical in our attack, particularly off scrum which lead directly to three first half tries.

“In the second, with the bonus point secured, we asked for composure in the face of an anticipated Darts fight back.

“Tom Johnson’s welcome return saw a faultless kicking display followed up with a try and Frankie Smith scored his debut tries alone with debutant former Colt Josh Sudder who is looking a very decent prospect.

“However, capping an excellent recent run of form, man of match was awarded to Jordan Smith. His aggressive defence, great carries and all round rugby intelligence in poor conditions was excellent today and thoroughly deserved the recognition.

“Next week, we have a tough away trip to Thurrock. With senior players returning in the week we will have some interesting selection headaches this week which is exactly the conundrum we need to keep pushing such performances.”