Holbrook and Pulborough firmly in play-off hunt

HOR 250910  Rugby. Holbrook Club. North Heath Lane, Holbrook v Seaford -photo by steve cobb
HOR 250910 Rugby. Holbrook Club. North Heath Lane, Holbrook v Seaford -photo by steve cobb

HOLBROOK and Pulborough are ensuring there is plenty of local interest as the race for a play-off place in rugby’s Sussex 1 reaches its climax.

Both teams are among the contenders for the runners up spot behind runaway winners Uckfield, and with Burgess Hill and Hastings also in the race, it could some down to the wire.

On Saturday Holbrook saw off Rye 42-21. Ash Sporne kicked off the scoring by going over in the corner and with the Horsham side on top, Nick Holt released the winger to dash in from 40 yards to score his second try.

Sporne then added a third at the start of the second half, but his departure through illness signalled a spell of Rye pressure, during which Rye scored a converted try. After that, a Rye breakout from their 22 was thwarted when the ball was intercepted by Centre Marc Cashman to score under the pots allowing Nick Holt an easy conversion and pushing the score on to 32-7 in favour of Holbrook. Paul Langley powered over with a push over try, which was converted by Holt for 37-7 and although two quick tries from Rye put them back into it, Holbrook scrum half Alex Meredith produced the final try of the day.

Holbrook skipper Simon Ley’s side currently occupy second spot and he believes they have a first XV capable of competing in London South East 3.

He said: “The goal is to get into the play-off and it is currently juggling between each of us, all we can do is win games. When we have our full squad out we can compete. Where we are lacking is maybe our depth is not as great as it should be.

“We need to build our twos up.”

And Pulborough did their cause to harm at all with a 27-22 win at Seaford on Saturday.

Coach Phil Jennings said: “It was pleasing that we kept at it. The lineout was good all the set piece was good. We need to work a little on our defence but other than that it was good, what was also pleasing was that when we had an opportunity to score, we did.”

If Pulborough had their kicking boots on, it could have been a much more emphatic scoreline but most conversions missed the posts thanks to the windy conditions at Seaford

Jennings’ men were in charge for long periods. Paul Whitby scored two tries, one of which polished off a neat backs move.

Skipper Dave Pannell also got on the scoresheet. A quick James Ruff tap penalty from five metres out set up two Pulborough drives which captain saw Pannell go over.

Inside centre Euan Callaway scored the final try from a quick break and he dotted down under the posts.