There was double derby delight for Horsham on Saturday as they hammered Haywards Heath in a league and cup double.
The Green and Whites ran out 41-17 winners at the Coolhurst Ground in a match that was both a London 2 South East fixture as well the semi-final on the Bob Rogers Cup.
Tries from Mike Watts, Jonny Goward, Vince Everitt, Declan Nwachukwu (two) and Jack Osgood saw second-placed Horsham move onto 80 points for the season and set up a final clash with Hastings & Bexhill.
Horsham head coach Nick Stocker said: “The prospect of playing a confident Heath team is always a challenge and this was no different.
“Our set piece worked well with the scrum dominant and the lineout securing good ball in attacking positions.
“Physically aggressive, particularly with the line speed and tackle stifled any Heath attacking aspirations which when all combined meant we had control for most of the game.
“In a team full of strong performances, the coaches singled out Kyle Fairs for his lineout work, Vince Everitt and Jack Osgood for the ball carrying and breakdown work, Mike Watts for his attacking intent and ability to hit gaps allowing Declan Nwachukwu additional space to score his 27th and 28th tries of the season.”
Horsham led inside of three minutes when Joe Wilde scythed across Heath’s line before finding Watts in space, who drifted over the line in comfortable fashion. Tom Johnson added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Heath hit back and put pressure on Horsham deep in their own half, eventually winning a penalty decision which was put wide.
Jordan Bell then executed a deftly-weighted crossfield kick which is caught and retained in the hands of Dan Cass who carries strong in typical fashion, Aaron Linfield drove forwards and Goward went down under a pile of players for another converted try.
Heath hit back at Horsham and overwhelm the defence to eventually find the tryline through Casey Calder on 35 minutes, but in the closing moments of the half, Johnson kicked a penalty and Vince Everitt then touched down another try for a 22-5 lead at the break.
While the momentum was undoubtedly with Horsham, Heath were still very much in this game and made it abundantly known four minutes in to the second half.
Josh Salisbury broke through the centre of a ruck only yards from the try line and was able to capitalise to touch down with Calder converting.
Horsham’s hard work to regain the moment was rewarded in spectacular fashion by a blistering run from Nwachukwu, who beat two tacklers snapping at his heels to pump over the line. Johnson re-laced his boots and put over the extras for 29-12.
From ten metres out, Nwachukwu then claimed the ball and left defender heads spinning as he drove over the line on 61 minutes.
Heath hit back quickly with a speedily taken tap and go from Owain Mcloughlin to score, but Horsham had the final saw as Osgood stepped the final defender to score a converted try on 78 minutes.
Stocker added: “Next week we have another tough match away to Old Colfeians, keen to put right a reversal in the cup earlier in the season and consolidate the grip on the play-off spot.”
Horsham: N.Bell, Fairs, Cass, Osgood, Goward, O’Rahilly, Everitt, Redmayne, Linfield, J.Bell, Nwachukwu, T.Johnson, Wilde, Hampson, Watts. Subs: Whiting, Condon, Earle.