Youth rugby round-up: Horsham take derby spoils

Horsham Under-16s v Pulborough
Horsham Under-16s v Pulborough

Under-16 - Horsham put the disappointment of losing their last Sussex A league game behind them with a hard-fought 15-0 win in a highly competitive match with local rivals Pulborough. Horsham tries came from Declan Nwachukwu, Aiden Plumpton and Tom Clayton.

Early Horsham pressure set the pattern of the match, but the recent tendency of spurning clear cut opening set in again as overlaps were not converted or balls were knocked out of hand.

However, the breakthrough came in unusual circumstances as the ball was passed out to No.8 Sean Richardson whose grubber kick found winger Declan Nwachukwu, who accelerated quickly to ground the ball.

Despite a number of surging Pulborough breaks towards the visitors line, Horsham continued to have the upper hand and not convert their chances. However, the pressure did eventually tell when following an initial surge from second row Callum Murphy, prop Aiden Plumpton ripped the ball from a maul and crashed over for Horsham’s second try. Again the conversion was missed and it was 10 – 0 at half time to the visitors.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Horsham pressing the opposition line, Pulborough defending with much gusto and then taking advantage of Horsham mistakes and penalty infringements to launch counter attacks.

When flanker Tom Clayton scored the third Horsham try ten minutes into the second half it looked as though they would go on to score more tries but the home team’s defence actually increased in intensity with the full back particularly impressive.

Despite a number of chances Horsham could not get the fourth try to secure the bonus point.

Under-14 - Pulborough Under-14s had a commanding win in their second league game at Lewes. Playing on a wet heavy pitch the match was fairly even for the first quarter until Harry Scrase went over from number 8 after a five metre scrum. Centre Howard Blackbee and winger Eddie Miller both then scored tries to give Boro a 19-0 half time lead. The second half began with a brace of tries from Jacob Temple in a five minute burst before Lewes scored a breakaway try after ten minutes to leave the scores 31-7. Pulborough continued to apply the pressure and second tries were scored by both Eddie Miller and Harry Scrase. Fullback Charlie Treasure then scored under the posts in the last play of the match after a weaving run that took him half the length of the pitch. Fly half George Lee converted six from eight tries to help the final score on to 52-7 to Boro in a man of the match performance. Coach Garry Kidner was very happy with a great team effort with the whole squad playing some great rugby in difficult conditions.

Wearing their alternative black kit to prevent a clash with the green of Guernsey proved inspirational as Horsham Under-14s recorded their first win of the season. After a run of heavy defeats a fine team display gave Horsham a much-needed 41-10 win over the league new boys. Horsham got off to a storming start with an early try from James Purbrick, converted by Ollie Joles, and they continued to hit rucks hard, win ball and tackle well. New midfield partnership of Ben Murphy and James Purbrick broke the line at will, while the Horsham forward play was fantastic. A second try came when Chris Fennelly intercepted a pass in his own half and chased his own kick to dive over, Joles again converting. A strong 40-yard run from Ben Murphy saw him score a third following good work from Sean Thompson, and Max Elliott dived over in the corner to get on the scoresheet. Horsham continued their dominance in the second half and further tries came from Ras Maddum, Max Elliott and Chris Fennelly, although Guernsey never gave up and crossed the white line twice themselves. Horsham did the basics well with strong tackles by Matt Allen and the rest of the forwards, with the backs equalling the tackle rate when the ball was fed wide. All in all it was a very fine all round team performance and a fully deserved first victory of the season.