Match Report by John Riley
Following a 60 - 7 friendly win v Teddington the previous Sunday, Horsham Colts welcomed Heathfield to Coolhurst in confident mood and looking to kick their title defence off in style. As champions from 2 years ago Heathfield are always tough opponents and from the kick off, and in front of a sizeable crowd, they took the game the hosts who didn't see the ball for 5 minutes.
Horsham finally gained possession and following a darting run down the right from u17 wing Conor Riley the ball was spun along the backs for left wing Max Paterson to power over in the corner. From the kick off Horsham again made in roads down the right through Riley and full back Charlie Best. From a resulting line out captain Sam Jewell took a towering catch, his pack put on a powerful drive and flanker Simon Powell touched down for the second try of the game with another u17 Joe Endacott and man of the match Josh Earle in close support.
Horsham were now in a confident mood and the 3rd try soon followed as fly half Joe Blake put in a pin point cross field kick which was taken at pace by Riley who rounded his winger to touch down. For the next ten minutes the game was fairly even as Heathfield made in roads into the Horsham half. However, following a break by centre Alfie Burchfield and a disrupted scrum on the 5 metre line, flanker Eddie Grogan scored the bonus point 4th try. With Blake making one of the conversions the half time score was 22 0.
Horsham moved up a gear at the start of the second half as Blake and Paterson combined superbly for two tries for the winger. The first was a slick backs move which saw Paterson dot down under the posts, followed shortly by another excellent cross field kick from Blake which Paterson collected on the full. He then rounded the defence and touched down under the posts for his hat trick.
With forward reinforcements Dan Phelps, Fraser Russell, Cam Homer and Ricky Vasconcellas coming off the bench, Horsham forced a hurried clearance from the Heathfield line which was taken by Simon Powell in midfield and he showed great pace to score his second try of the match.
Heathfield never gave up and were unfortunate that an attack into the Horsham 22 saw a pass intercepted by Blake who raced the length of the pitch to touch down under the posts. By this stage Horsham had also introduced u17 backs Adam Williams, Mikey Zewoi and Josh Sudder and all made significant contributions.
With game entering it's final stages hooker Will Evans drove over from short range and following a barn storming run down centre field by Homer, the ball was recycled out wide allowing winger Sudder to touch down in the corner for the last try of the game. With Blake converting
4 and Zewoi one, the final score was 62 0. Horsham certainly played very well but the score doesn't really reflect how well Heathfield performed during large parts of the game.
The next couple of weeks see Horsham travel to Sutton and Epsom and then host Reeds Weybridge on the 1/10 before returning to league action against Hove on the 8/10. Support is always very welcome! We aim to entertain!"
Coaches Comments ......
Gents. Excellent today. Perfect in many ways especially with all the bench getting decent game time and great support from those who didn't make the match day squad. Slight miscalculation on score. It was 62 0 (thought Blakey had scored 2 tries). For the record. Tries Max P 3, Simon P 2, and one each from Joe B, Conor R, Eddie, Will E and Josh S. 5 cons from Blakey and one cracking effort from Mikey. Always room for improvement but a great start to the defence of our league title. Green Army!!
Well done today - impressive performance and good decisions on the pitch. Need to keep up the standard now! Thanks to all those who came to support - good to see you as one squad,
Heathfield Report .....
Second! ............................to a very good team
Heathfield’s Colts are predominantly U17 and, from the outset, were right up against it playing last year’s champions. In fact our boys showed real skill and tenacity but the final 15 minutes were just too much
Hats off to Horsham who were not just fast and strong but, with multiple county players, were very good. In particular they were able continually keep the ball alive and they have perfected the pin-point cross field kick.
Hopefully (!) this is the hardest fixture out of the way.....?