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1st XV - Match centre

Horsham
Maidstone
S Hampson (2), A Linfield, D Nwachukwu (3), J Whiting, G Barber, M Watts (2), J Wilde, J Bell
Tries
Unknown, Unknown
T Johnson (8)
Conversions
Unknown
Sat 6 Apr 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 2 South East Full time

Farnham to provide the opposition in promotion play-off

By

Promotion Possibility Palpable

Match report by Nathan Jervis

The last time these sides met was in March 2013 when Maidstone thrashed Horsham 95-12 on the way to back to back promotions from London 3 SE into London 1 South and Intermediate Cup success at Twickenham, but this was a much-changed side. Horsham needed two points to finish second and secure a chance at promotion in a play-off against Farnham, and the team quite clearly had every intention of smashing that target.

Should Horsham beat Farnham, they will be promoted to London 1 South which is the highest level the club has ever achieved, and match the achievements of the strong side the club had in the early 1990's.

The game began and the spectators spectated with a palpable sense of urgency - the importance of todays match was undeniable. Sam Hampson however provided soothing remedy to the supporters with a comfortable try only 1 minute in, dashing in from out wide utilising his trademark pace to score. Tom Johnson converts well in what would prove to be challenging conditions. 7-0 and the game had barely begun. Tom Johnson finds himself looking up at the posts moments later as a penalty is awarded Horsham's way, the wind however denies him the kick and the score remains the same.

The young wizard Aaron Linfield fancied his name in lights next as he capitalises on a Maidstone mistake at the line out and dashes through from the half way line, dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and dodging all the way to the try line. The kick goes wide however, and the score rises to 12-0. I can reliably inform the readers therefore that in my absence "Joe Wilde did a bit, sort of chucked it over to Dec, Dec was on the left and scored". Incredible scenes. Tom Johnson is able to convert putting the score line up to 19-0, with 16 minutes gone.

The next try was a cumulative team effort stemming from a strong scrum. I am reliably informed that Jonny Whiting was the scorer after a hard team drive across the line. The kick goes wide, the conditions did not favour a kicking game at all, and the score is set at 24-0, 25 minutes gone. At 34 minutes however something happened which made this reporter turn his attention away from his frothy nectar. After sustained pressure in Maidstone's 22, Giles Barber finds himself within stumbling distance of the line, and stumble he did. Tom Johnson converts well increasing the score to 31-0.

At the stroke of halftime Declan Nwachukwu once again finds the line after what George Howard reliably told me was a very well worked backs move following from a scrum. Tom Johnson kicks over the extras to see the first half out. 38-0.

Suitably refreshed, and IPA replenished, this reporter made his way back out to the field of play, or just next to it. It would be no exaggeration to say, and if you, the reader, would allow me some artistic licence for a moment, that what happened for the next 10 minutes was, if you will allow the phrase, some rugby. Jordan Bell continued Horsham's story with a well judged cross field kick gathered by Mike Watts in space, who scores. Tom Johnson converts, 45-0.

Joe Wilde was back to his intercepting ways this week as he dashes through the gain line, ball plucked out of the air and with only space in front of him. The result was inevitable, but spectacular nonetheless. Tom Johnson kicks the conversion to see the last of Horsham's points unanswered. Maidstone hit back following a good line out and recycling move which enabled them to score, an impressive feat in the face of 52 points and 52 minutes of Horsham momentum. 52-7. 4 minutes later at the 56 minute mark Maidstone strike again and find the line after a poor line out from Horsham, the conversion goes wide however and the score is set at 52-12.

Maidstone however would not find themselves on the scoresheet again. Mike Watts finds himself ball in hand after a well worked Horsham line out and glides over the line to score. Tom Johnson does well to convert from out wide and the score moves to 59-12 at the hour mark. Jordan Bell is next on the score sheet after he capitalises from broken Maidstone play and gathers the ball, running well to the line and on to the score board. Unconverted, 64-12.

Sam Hampson gets his second at the 72 minute mark after a quick tap and go, Tom Johnson converts. 71-12. Declan Nwachukwu takes his 35th try of the season - and he's missed three games - at the close of play. a huge Horsham scrum shoves back Maidstone's pack enabling Dec to find space and a nice, juicy, thirst quenching try at the end of it. Final score, 76-12.

Head Coach Nick Stocker reflected after the game: "Since December, following our loss away at Beckenham, we understood that we needed to win all our remaining games if we were to have a chance at a promotion playoff. This included tough away assignments to Charlton Park, Deal and Old Colfeians as well as tricky encounters at home against the likes of Hayward’s Heath. The team have been in scintillating form. 10 wins on the trot with 9 bonus points scoring 66 tries on the way speaks volumes. It doesn’t however do justice to the effort levels every player in the squad has put in and on which this run of form has been built. The consistency in availability and effort has allowed us to field strong teams despite injuries and test the squad throughout and eventually brought us to this position on the final day of the season.

Maidstone was another tricky assignment that needed managing to progress to next week and in all aspects of play, we were in control which ultimately meant for a comfortable win despite the early nerves. The back three were a threat as usual and the half backs were lively and controlled throughout. Combined with a dominant pack, epitomised by the final try that originated from a demolished opposition scrum, we are now one game away from realising the promotion aspiration.

Declan Nwachukwu won the man of the match award for another barnstorming performance with yet another hat trick and 35 for the season! An incredible feat but he will no doubt be hungry for more next week when we welcome Farnham to Horsham for the playoff match. With promotion to London 1 the prize, it promises to be a great game and busy day at the club and no doubt Farnham will be traveling in force. We would certainly appreciate even more vocal support of our own as the league campaign reaches its climax and all are welcome!"

The play-off game against Farnham is at Horsham's Coolhurst Ground on Hammerpond Road on Saturday 13th April with kick-off at 15:00.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC

Declan Nwachukwu

Player of the Match

Declan Nwachukwu

Key moments

1:00
Try Sam Hampson scores for Horsham
2:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
9:00
Try Aaron Linfield scores for Horsham
16:00
Try Declan Nwachukwu scores for Horsham
17:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
24:00
Try Jonathan Whiting scores for Horsham
34:00
Try Giles Barber scores for Horsham
35:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
39:00
Try Declan Nwachukwu scores for Horsham
40:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
50:00
Try Mike Watts scores for Horsham
51:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
52:00
Try Joe Wilde scores for Horsham
53:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
56:00
Try Try for Maidstone
57:00
Conversion Conversion for Maidstone
60:00
Try Try for Maidstone
64:00
Try Mike Watts scores for Horsham
65:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
68:00
Try Jordan Bell scores for Horsham
75:00
Try Sam Hampson scores for Horsham
78:00
Try Declan Nwachukwu scores for Horsham
79:00
Conversion Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham

Highlights

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80:00 Player of the Match
Declan Nwachukwu is awarded player of the match for Horsham
79:00 Conversion 76 - 12
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
78:00 Try 74 - 12
Declan Nwachukwu scores for Horsham
76:00 Missed Conversion
Tom Johnson misses a conversion for Horsham
75:00 Try 69 - 12
Sam Hampson scores for Horsham
69:00 Missed Conversion
Tom Johnson misses a conversion for Horsham
68:00 Try 64 - 12
Jordan Bell scores for Horsham
65:00 Conversion 59 - 12
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
64:00 Try 57 - 12
Mike Watts scores for Horsham
61:00 Sub On
Marcus Condon is substituted on for Horsham
61:00 Sub Off
Aaron Linfield is substituted off for Horsham
60:00 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for Maidstone
60:00 Try 52 - 12
Try for Maidstone
57:00 Conversion 52 - 7
Conversion for Maidstone
56:00 Try 52 - 5
Try for Maidstone
53:00 Conversion 52 - 0
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
52:00 Try 50 - 0
Joe Wilde scores for Horsham
51:00 Conversion 45 - 0
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
50:00 Try 43 - 0
Mike Watts scores for Horsham
45:00 Sub On
Richard Tredgett is substituted on for Horsham
45:00 Sub On
Nick Bell is substituted on for Horsham
45:00 Sub Off
Dan Cass is substituted off for Horsham
45:00 Sub Off
Jack Osgood is substituted off for Horsham
End of period 1
40:00 Conversion 38 - 0
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
39:00 Try 36 - 0
Declan Nwachukwu scores for Horsham
35:00 Conversion 31 - 0
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
34:00 Try 29 - 0
Giles Barber scores for Horsham
25:00 Missed Conversion
Tom Johnson misses a conversion for Horsham
24:00 Try 24 - 0
Jonathan Whiting scores for Horsham
17:00 Conversion 19 - 0
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
16:00 Try 17 - 0
Declan Nwachukwu scores for Horsham
10:00 Missed Conversion
Tom Johnson misses a conversion for Horsham
9:00 Try 12 - 0
Aaron Linfield scores for Horsham
7:00 Missed Penalty
Tom Johnson misses a penalty for Horsham
2:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Tom Johnson kicks a conversion for Horsham
1:00 Try 5 - 0
Sam Hampson scores for Horsham
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Horsham
  • Maidstone
  • 0
  • Sam Hampson Try 1:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 2:00'
  • Aaron Linfield Try 9:00'
  • Declan Nwachukwu Try 16:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 17:00'
  • Jonathan Whiting Try 24:00'
  • Giles Barber Try 34:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 35:00'
  • Declan Nwachukwu Try 39:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 40:00'
  • Jack Osgood Sub Off 45:00'
  • Dan Cass Sub Off 45:00'
  • Nick Bell Sub On 45:00'
  • Richard Tredgett Sub On 45:00'
  • Mike Watts Try 50:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 51:00'
  • Joe Wilde Try 52:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 53:00'
  • Try 56:00'
  • Conversion 57:00'
  • Try 60:00'
  • Aaron Linfield Sub Off 61:00'
  • Marcus Condon Sub On 61:00'
  • Mike Watts Try 64:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 65:00'
  • Jordan Bell Try 68:00'
  • Sam Hampson Try 75:00'
  • Declan Nwachukwu Try 78:00'
  • Tom Johnson Conversion 79:00'

Team selection

Watts, Mike Watts, Mike
Hampson, Sam Hampson, Sam
Wilde, Joe Wilde, Joe
Johnson, Tom Johnson, Tom
Nwachukwu, Declan Nwachukwu, Declan
Bell, Jordan Bell, Jordan
Linfield, Aaron Linfield, Aaron
Whiting, Jonathan Whiting, Jonathan
Everitt , Vince Everitt , Vince
Smith, Jordan Smith, Jordan
Goward, Johnny Goward, Johnny
Osgood, Jack Osgood, Jack
Cass, Dan Cass, Dan
Fairs, Kyle Fairs, Kyle
Barber, Giles Barber, Giles

League round up

Other London 2 South East results

Charlton Park
39
26
28
15
Aylesford Bulls
Thanet Wanderers
26
10
Old Colfeians

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Beckenham 22 96
2. Horsham 22 90
3. Charlton Park 22 87
4. Haywards Heath 22 66
5. Old Colfeians 22 66
6. Gravesend 22 57
7. Deal & Betteshanger 22 50

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