Heartache for Horsham

JPCT 260113 Rugby: Horsham v Bromley. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 260113 Rugby: Horsham v Bromley. Photo by Derek Martin

Horsham RUFC suffered last gasp agony as victory against Bromley was snatched away by a last minute try.

The Green and Whites led going into injury time at the end of 80 minutes, but the visitos’ Jack Wardingley dived over to level the scores, and although the conversion was missed, Horsham will wonder how they failed to close the match out.

There will also be an inquest within the home side regarding the yellow card given to replacement prop Neal Holden in the 80th minute, who contested a decision and threw the ball away, leaving the Green and Whites to play the final minutes with fourteen men.

A clearly frustrated Horsham captain Giles Barber said: “We dominated the set-pieces but conceded too many penalties and we were weak at the breakdown. We committed too many stupid errors such as being offside numerous times and the yellow card summed up our lack of discipline.”

There was little to choose between the teams in the early stages, as expected between two mid table sides. Mark Brandon opened the scoring with a penalty and Bromley responded to level. Bromley broke the deadlock after 16 minutes when full back James Powell went over to score following a well worked three quarters move. After a further exchange of penalties Horsham’s backs showed that they too could stretch the opposition defence with fluent passing, and Sam Rice stepped inside his man and ran in from 20 yards.

With neither side gaining ascendancy, Horsham looked the more likely to score and if Rice had managed to hold a clever kick by Brandon, the Green and Whites would have surely scored but halftime arrived with the scores level at 11-11. In the second half, Horsham flankers Rob Clegg and Nick Bell were outstanding, covering every inch of the pitch and disrupting any continuity Bromley could find. Aled Price came on and fired out a couple of long passes in an attempt to outflank the Bromley defence, and winger James Whiting made some strong runs, but on each occasion the final pass was forced and the away side managed to stifle the attack.

After another exchange of penalties, on 73 minutes Jonathan Whiting picked up from the back of the scrum and powered over from five yards, but Horsham were unable to hold on to the lead.