Holbrook RFC’s Seconds secured their first ever silverware with a dominant performance to win the Sussex Salver against League champions Worthing Senior II at Crowborough on Saturday.
After two competitive league matches the game was anticipated to be a close affair, but Holbrook were so superior in the first half that the result never seemed in doubt.
Jubilant Holbrook captain James Lowe said: “I’m really proud of all the players, they put their heart and soul into this match and I couldn’t have asked more. It’s been a great cup campaign!”
After a fast start Holbrook quickly got on the score sheet with a converted penalty from Ash Sporne when Worthing infringed in front of the posts.
With dominance in the scrum and the greater territory and possession, Holbrook failed to make the most of their good work with a number of breaks coming to nothing.
It was very much against the run of play when a number of errors let Worthing back in to convert a penalty to even the scores.
Holbrook set up a platform from the kick off after an unforced Worthing error, and with the ever reliable Pete Downes and Andy Duxbury in the line out, they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. The Worthing defence was slow to react as Jamie Boon took a quick tap and set up Nick Lewis to touch down under the posts for the first try of the game, converted by Sporne.
Almost immediately from the kick off good work from the forwards, particularly Connor Pascoe set up a flowing backs move where James Dempsey broke through a number of gaps in the defence to put Richard Brooker in to race away and score in the corner.
Worthing’s over eagerness to get a score before half time saw them concede a penalty on the 22m line, which Boon tapped and fed Simon Ley who drove upfield, and after going through Downes he found Demsey, who sold a dummy to the last Worthing defender to score under the posts, Brooker adding the extras for a 22-3 half time lead.
Worthing inevitably upped their performance in the second half but a heroic effort from the Holbrook defence - led by the likes of Ben Anderson, Connor Pascoe and Nick Lewis - kept them at bay.
Eventually they did score out wide, but some changes freshened Holbrook up and from a quick break from the backs Brooker kicked his first ever drop goal from the Worthing 22m line.
Worthing again dominated territory and possession but the Holbrook defence stood firm and with five minutes to go man of the match Richard Brooker added another audacious drop goal that cleared the crossbar by centimetres.
Worthing had the final say with the game’s last try in the corner but there’s no doubt the day, and the Sussex Salver trophy belonged to Holbrook.