Lewes gave the Lions a ten point head start by not fielding a front row and going to uncontested scrums and could not live with the Lions high paced game.
Lewes were on the back foot from the start: giving away a scrum on the centre spot after their ball failed to go the ten metres. A quick ball to Neal Holden, who after a powerful run was brought down just outside the Lewes ten metre line. An infringement breakdown gave the Lions a penalty and their first opportunity to get onto the scoreboard. This penalty was well taken by Josh Chalk. The restart was gathered in by Carl Harman, and the Lions counter attacked at pace, and in phases eventually got the ball out to Ryan Day on the wing. Day’s pace was far too good for Lewes and on his debut scored his first try.
The Lions second try was scored by Sam Lunn after some outstanding interactive play by Holden and James Layzell. Holden got his third try after an excellent breakthrough in Lewes defence. From the restart Lewes put in a determined period of sustained attack could not penetrate Horsham lines. This period was characterised by a solid defence and line speed with outstanding work by the Lions forwards. Kyle Fairs was brilliantly destructive in the loose, winning the ball on numerous occasions giving quick ball to the backs.
Layzell proved to be a handful for Lewes by continually leaving the first defender for dead with a combination of his speed and quick feet, this combined with Holden’s powerful breaks lead to the Lions fourth try of the game.
After the restart in which the Lions produced a number of powerful runs into the Lewes half only for them to concede a penalty at the break down. From which Lewes kicked deep into Lions territory for a lineout in the 22, only for their attack to be halted by a powerful Lions defence, with a large number of big hits being produced from a number of players from Horsham. After a particularly strong tackle Lewes knocked the ball inside the 22, on which the Lions pounced (excuse the pun!!!) on too counter attack from which Ricky Tobin showed some quick thinking by gathering in the ball from a loose pass to take it up to the from deep and with good passing found its way out to Layzell who yet again showed his pace by out stripping a number of defenders only to be taken down just pass the half way of Lewes half. Only for the ball to be lost at the break down, yet Lewes knocked the ball on from the ensuing counter attack which lead to a scrum. The try came from a powerful drive off the base on the right of a five metre scrum by Iain Fisher, who drew in two defenders from which to Joey Walker, with the scrum half powering over in the corner for his first try of the game.
Yet another well worked attacked from the restart saw the Lions be awarded with a penalty within kicking range for Chalk which he gladly took which ended the scoring in the 1st half with the score being 26 (36 with the added 10 points) -12.
The second half was more evenly matched affair due to the lions losing Holden to work commitments at half but was substituted by Jack Plane a Horsham colt who stepped up for his first senior match with a strong performance. With both sides feeling the pace of the first half but Lewes being able to cope more effectively with a constant stream of substitutes which allowed them to eject more pace into their play with fresh players. Horsham now with no subs had to adjust with Adam Day being moved to outside centre.
From the restart the Lions kicked the ball deep into the Lewes half, who attacked from deep at pace that they had not done in the first half. After a number of devastating tackles from Tobin, Ollie Barker and Fisher, a number of poor tackle attempts from the Lions defence lead to the Lewes centre to score a long range try, which should have been easily stopped. The Lions then responded by retaining the ball from the kick to launch a blistering attack that put Walker in for his second try of the game. The remainder of the half was characterised by a series of strong attacks by Lewes that in the main was met by strong defence by the Lions, although the Lions moved the ball wide at every opportunity, but Lewes defended this area well forcing Horsham into the centre, it is not surprising that all four of the Lions second half tries were scored by forwards.
The Lions lost Fairs to injury early in the second half, with no replacements the Lions face the prospect of playing the remaining 30 minutes with 14 players agents a resurgent Lewes, however Sam Rice showed dedication to the club having come to support got kitted out to come on to bring the Lions up to strength. Lewes scored two further tries, one a close range drive over by their forwards and their third try was again against the run of play with the Lions losing concentration and falling off tackles, the Lions answered these tries with three of their own from well worked attacks, the first scored by Mike Penfold driving from a ruck close to Lewes line, Tobin scored the Lions seventh try by gathering a loose ball from the breakdown and driving through three Lewes defenders from five metres out to score. Lions captain Fisher scored the Lions eighth try from the base of the scrum three metres off Lewes line.
There were a number of outstanding performances across the park, Tobin playing his first match at open side flanker put in a sterling performance, Fisher put in a captains performance, Fairs was outstanding in the breakdown, but the man of the match was Layzell whose defence and support play was excellent as was his attacking game.