Slow start costs Holbrook dear

Lapses in concentration cost Holbrook RFC in a bruising Sussex Division 1 loss at Seaford, which saw second row Mark Devlin hospitalised.

The Horsham-based side were guilty of gifting three of Seaford’s six tries to the hosts, and after just 16 minutes had slipped 15-0 behind.

Holbrook woke up after this though, and produced a ten minute period of pressure within the Seaford 22 metre line. But poor decision making, over eagerness and a strong defence meant that they came away with nothing to show for their efforts except the loss of last week’s outstanding player, Billy Brown through injury.

With 35 minutes gone a punch on Holbrook second row, Mark Devlin, whilst he was at the bottom of a ruck, saw the sending off of his opposite number and a visit to hospital for Devlin.

A penalty by Lee Taylor on 40 mins was instantly cancelled out with interest when another kick by Seaford was allowed to bounce, collected and moved simply along the line for another Seaford try.

Half time was a welcome relief for Holbrook as they were in danger of falling apart as things were just not going in their favour and Seaford were dominating most aspects of the game.

A yellow card earned by centre Andy Etherington at the break meant Holbrook had to start with 14 men.

A try from the start by Seaford appeared to be the final nail in the Holbrook coffin as the score crept up to 29-3.

Captain Paul Davey rallied his troops and with Lee Taylor starting to play with great judgement, Holbrook finally came together and started to compete with more confidence.

That was soon rewarded with a try by Prop Rob Hagget who broke from a maul to sprint 30 meters to the line, score 29-8.

A strong Holbrook period led by Taylor who put in a fine display of tactical kicking, supported by several strong carries by the forwards saw them begin to worry Seaford.

A series of forward drives in the Seaford 22 finally leading to a try by winger Steyn bringing the score to 29-15, the conversion added by Taylor.

At this stage it was game on and the optimists on the Holbrook line started to believe that a great escape was on the cards. But when a good clearance kick by Taylor was admired by the rest of the Holbrook team and as they stood still admiring, Seaford took a quick throw to their outstanding player, No. 13 who sprinted 80 mtrs to score under the Holbrook posts pop their hopes of a fightback.

Despite this set back Holbrook continued to press and were rewarded with tries by Taylor and Simon Ley and with five minutes left still held hopes of closing the gap of 36-20. However, placing every effort into attack cost them dearly when an interception by Seaford No. 13 saw him close the game out with a final score of 42-20.

Coach Steve Heaton was full of praise for his sides recovery after a disappointing first half and felt that there were many positives to come from the game despite the loss.