First round of the Sussex Bowl at home, conditions were good, the sun was out and the boys were up for it! Chichester looked a very strong IV team, arguably 2nds / 3rds, undeterred, Horsham warmed up well. Chichester kicked to Horsham and both teams shared heavy exchanges, each trying to gain the advantage. The initial ten minutes Chichester looked strong and Horsham were still finding their feet, Horsham began to play rugby and build on their own ball. Conceding the first try and after resolute defending near their line Horsham began to make solid ground and push towards the oppositions 22. With Horsham scrum going well and the line out performing Horsham moved into a try scoring position, with 2nd rows Jon Hamblin and Lee Maguire breaking the gain line. Jon Hamblin opened the scoring for Horsham with a magnificent drive over the line score 5-7.
Horsham received the kick and moved forward making their way into the oppositions half. Chichester were making things difficult and scored again through exploiting an overlap making the score 5-12. Horsham didn’t those their heads and answered the visitors with two more try’s from Jon Hamblin capitalising on clean line out ball and solid scrummaging to overpower the visitors. Throughout the first half James Johnson was creating problems for Chichester at scrum half breaking through and putting Horsham on the front foot, Horsham went to half time 19-12 up.
Second half brought changes for Horsham and they looked to continue where they left off in the first half, moving forwards with conviction and recycling the ball well. Horsham took the option to take 3 points in front of the post to give them a decent cushion, 22-12. Shortly after George Palmer, on a free weekend from University, made a brilliant run down the line after being fed by Michael Fisher to score in the corner, not only a brilliant piece of individual finishing but a great passage of ball retention for Horsham. With Horsham being strengthened by replacements Alex Clery and Todd Lowe we weathered some penetrating passages of play from Chichester with the whole team defending as a line to keep the visitors out.
The final five minutes of the game saw Horsham capitalise on the magnificent AGP surface and their scrum advantage by driving over from 15 metres, allowing Michael Watson to dot down over the line in his first game back for the club, a welcome return.
The game was played in great spirits, both teams focussed on rugby, despite an unfortunate yellow card for James Weir after a mid-air collision / tackle (not intentional and without malice).
Many players to mention for superb individual performances and playing out of position, in particular 'James' Johnson, Sam Lunn and a well-earned “Man of the Match” Jon Hamblin, for his powerful hat trick scored in the first half.
Many thanks to all who made themselves available and for all who came to support for what was a great win for the Babas. Second round, away to Hove III #greenarmy!
Nike White, Mike Drew, Guy Viney, John Hamblin, Lee Maguire, Ed Creswell, Rob Clegg, Jordan Crow, James Johnson, Sam Lunn, Chris Mallows Dan Kelly, Tom Greet, Richard Sutton, George Palmer
Michael Fisher, Tom Viney, Gordon Sharp, Michael Watson, Alex Clery, Tod Lowe, James 'Nutcracker' Weir