Ashford cause Pulborough late heartbreak

Boro skipper Richard Nicholls in the defeat over Horsham before Christmas
Boro skipper Richard Nicholls in the defeat over Horsham before Christmas

Pulborough rugby captain Richard Nicholls says gutted doesn’t quite cover the disappointment of losing to Ashford with a try in the very final play of the match on Saturday.

Leading 8-6 against their fourth-placed visitors, Ashford won a line out right on 80 minutes. And although the initial surge was held up 5ms from the line, it was spun to the blindside where the Ashford winger somehow grounded the ball as he clattered into the corner flag and a sea of Boro challenges.

“Gutted doesn’t really cover it,” Nicholls said. “It was the absolute last play of the match, we thought we’d done enough and the ref took about 30 seconds to award it.”

Both teams competed well at scrum and line out, and although Boro’s backline looked to have the edge during the first half, it was the forward battle that set the tone of the match - Ashford’s power game verses the hosts’ offloading game.

Guy Baxter scored the Pulborough try in the first half after some powerful forward’s play, and they were never behind from that point until the very last moments of the match.

Boro did pick up a losing bonus point and Nicholls added: “It was an excellent game, the whole team played really well. We talked about it being a competitive league and this shows the progress we’ve made in the last six months.”

There was further bad luck as Euan Calloway broke his hand, and then returned to the field and dislocated his shoulder.