Horsham consolidate fourth place with third successive win

Horsham v Pulborough Rugby SR1726023 - Jake Lowe. Pic Steve Robards SUS-171228-105613001
Horsham v Pulborough Rugby SR1726023 - Jake Lowe. Pic Steve Robards SUS-171228-105613001

Horsham consolidated their hold on fourth position in London 2 South East with a victory at Coolhurst over Heathfield & Waldron in a dramatic turnaround.

It was the Green and Whites third successive win and in the process completed the double over their Sussex rivals.

This was the 12th league win of the season for the Green and Whites which is already their most successful return since being promoted three years ago.

Playing into a bitter wind in the first-half, the Green and Whites then found themselves conceding a succession of penalties as Heathfield gradually accumulated a nine-point lead after three kicks at goal.

When the visitors scored a try after the ball appeared to have been knocked-on they were building a lead that appeared to be unassailable.

These would be the last points Heathfield would score as Horsham went on to score 22 points without reply. The Green and Whites secured a lifeline on the stroke of half-time with a try for Jake Lowe in support of some great work by Rob Grant. Joe Wilde converted as Horsham went into the break 14-7 down.

Horsham upped the intensity from the start of the second-half.

Following five minutes of pressure by the hosts, Vince Everitt ran a hard line to score under the posts which was converted by Wilde to level the scores.

Wilde added a further penalty, and then on 66 minutes following hard carries by Johnny Ordidge and Jonny Whiting, and good support from Lowe, Horsham sealed the win with a good finish from Wilde.

Horsham head coach Nick Stocker praised the resilience of his side for overturning the deficit. He said: “We started slowly against the wind and the cold seemed to numb the brains. Whilst we showed more threat in attack in the early phases, we threw too many offloads which allowed Heathfield field position from which to begin to assert themselves.

“As such, we were guilty of conceding too many penalties in our half which their kicker converted excellently building a good lead. This was further exacerbated by conceding a try when the ref missed a knock on in the immediate build up leaving us 14-0 down.

“The response from that was positive, however, and running with more purpose and hunger we scored a great try with the last play before half time to set up the second half nicely.

“Playing with the wind, we were more assertive and carried with more purpose with the likes of Vince Everitt and Jake Lowe prominent.

“All in all, we are pleased to secure another win against a solid team in tricky conditions coming from a losing position. This shows the resilience of the young guys which can be built upon. It was a pity we missed the opportunity to get the bonus point try.”

Horsham travel to face promotion hopefuls Hove on Saturday.

Horsham: N.Bell, Fisher, Fairs, Whiting, Maguire, Lowe, Everitt, Smith, Mills, Johnson, Grant, J.Bell, Wilde, Blewitt, Watts. Subs: Ordidge, Cass, Paterson.