Another good response to selection gave us a number of substitutes and playing back at Horsham there were high hopes we could upset the odds against one of the teams at the top of the league. It was a little surprise that Littlehampton were unable to find 15 men so Horsham were obliged to lend them a player. I know Christmas is all about giving but ask my family, I’m a right scrooge especially when I know I’m not getting anything back. When you consider our position in the league, we could do with any advantage we can get. So the first gift was from Horsham with Bob Fennelly doing the honours– thanks Bob.
Winning the toss we elected to play up the hill in the first half and were unfortunatly soon chasing the game. Littlehampton had some strong runners, this combined with some gift wrapped tackles saw them in to a lead they’d never relinquish. If Horsham were losing out in the contact area, Littlehampton didn’t seem to want to go anywhere near the kick offs with practically everyone ending up in Horsham hands and it was from one of these James Hatton collected and then rampaged up the pitch before offloading to yours truly who ducked/dived/squirmed his way to score under the posts. Perhaps on another day the referee would have sided with the defence who felt they had a case for ripping the ball before it hit the line but thank fully for me it was his turn to be in the giving mood.
Sadly the gap was only closed momentarily as Littlehampton employed a little guile to their back play with a simple but effective wrap around move. Horsham did score again quickly afterwards when a cleared kick was well taken by Chris Mallows, this was off loaded nicely to Sam Lunn who fed Connor Clark, he then showed some impressive gas to outsprint the Littlehampton defence.
Half time came and Bob was done for which allowed us a numerical advantage. This was probably the most important part of the game. Horsham seemed to be getting the edge in key areas and were enjoying a good period of pressure in the Littlehampton 22. Frustratingly a combination of good defence and some ball handling issues meant Horsham had nothing to show for all their good play.
Not scoring here broke us a little, Littlehampton started to reassert themselves especially in the scrum where Horsham who were now deprived of their subs couldn’t rotate. A couple of late scores by Littlehampton gave the score line a light which I don’t think quite reflected the balance of the game.
The guys put it all on the line again on Saturday and there will be a lot of sore bodies out there today and in to next week. We needed everyone that turned up and I hope I got around you all to say thanks. It was great to share a beer with those that stayed afterwards, I’m not sure if any of you actually made it for a curry we’ll have to try again!