Perfect weekend for ‘Boro as they catch leaders Thanet

Pulborough v Thanet rugby. Pic Steve Robards  SR1634361 SUS-161120-154828001
Pulborough v Thanet rugby. Pic Steve Robards SR1634361 SUS-161120-154828001

Pulborough produced a perfect weekend as they moved level on points with leaders Thanet Wanderers at the top of London 3 South East.

They clinched a comprehensive 34-0 shut-out victory against second-from-bottom side Eastbourne.

Other results also went their way as third-placed Hayward Heath beat Thanet 23-17, while Lewes handed Folkestone a walkover victory.

Heath’s win means they now have 60 points and trail the top two teams by five, with Lewes and Folkestone further back in fourth and fifth both on 56 points.

‘Boro captain Simon Burfiend praised a good display and said: “It was a fantastic result this weekend and we came close to completing the elusive 80-minute performance we have been searching for all season.

“Our defence was particularly impressive, especially during the first ten minutes of a game as we have started slowly the past few weeks, so it was nice to finally put that one to bed.

“With the talent in our side we always know we are going to score tries, we just need to remain patient and defend hard to make those opportunities happen, which is what we did on Saturday.

“With Haywards Heath beating Thanet, and Lewes failing to field a side at home against Folkestone, we are now sat joint top with Thanet and there is all to play for coming into the back end of an exciting season.”

Frazer Oliphant-Hope stepped up early on to slot a penalty from in front of the post at a snowy Freelands to get the scoreboard ticking over.

From another penalty, Pulborough won a line-out and Hugo Baldwin rose well to serve up George Lee, who provided a good ball to the back line. Burfiend showed a quick show and go, before busting through the line for a converted try.

Ollie Burnett then breezed past his defender and carved his way to the line from the Eastbourne 10m in a fine solo effort which was again converted by Oliphant-Hope.

Eastbourne had a spell camped deep inside the ‘Borough 22, but the defence held firm and the visitors’ frustrations resulted in a yellow card before half-time.

Going down the hill in the second half, birthday boy Owain McLoughlin spotted the opportunity for a quick tap penalty 15 metres out from the try line and he went on a solo run to score in the corner.

With Oliphant-Hope off the field due to a cut eye, Burfiend missed the conversion to keep the score at 20-0.

Will Truscott then picked out Ollie Coombe Tennant after cutting inside and he outpaced the defender to score the bonus-point try in the corner.

A good move involving Truscott, Ewan Callaway and Burfiend set-up the final try as Guy Baxter rampaged down the middle and Dan Paige, crossed the line.

Pulborough: Baxter, Nichols, Pascall, Baldwin, Reede, Morton, Coombe-Tennant, McLoughlin, Lee, Oliphant-Hope, Game, Burfiend, Burnett, Truscott, Paige. Subs: Callaway, Denman, Whyte.