On a bright warm day at the Horsham Festival an assortment of teams from across the region came to test themselves against each other. The Lions hosted Sutton and Epsom, Hove, Haywards Heath and Lewes whilst Horsham Tigers played Crawley, East Grinstead, Worthing and Chichester.
The Lions finished their day with three losses and a draw which tested their mettle drawing on all their resolve.
The opening match was against the eventual winners and ended 0-5. They conceded 4 in the first half before a battling second half only saw them give up one further score.
Meanwhile on the second pitch a great opening game saw the Tigers end 4-2 victors against Worthing
Second game and this time the Lions played a very physical Hove team. If the second half against Sutton and Epsom was going in the right direction the start against Hove was in full reverse. It wasn't through lack of effort but a desire to play the ball when the best thing would have been to go to ground. It was a very dejected team that finished the game 1-7.
The Tigers next opponents were Crawley who also gave them a physical test this ended 2-2. Third up were East Grinstead and lose passing continued to creep in and this cost them in this close game
The Lions next opponents were Haywards Heath. This finished 2-4 to Heath, this match was definitely there for the taking but Heath forced Horsham into touch on three occasions with the game in balance and the line beckoning.
The final games were Lewes for the Lions and Chichester for the Tigers. The Tigers really turned on the flair and dispatched them whilst the Lions deservedly prevented a clean sweep with a gutsy draw against Lewes.
The Tigers pressed on to the final where Sutton and Epsom profited again from some lose Horsham passing to take the trophy 0-7.
There were many performances of note in all the games. Cody defied his short time in the game with some great trys and tackles, Toby, Freddie and Henry were everywhere tackling and running hard. Daniel, Will and Ben provided some determined go forward, Jonny added some thoughtful distribution and some timely diving tackles and Emily's moment to score the try to take them to the final was priceless. Coaches Robin and Andy did a cracking job steering them throughout the day.
In the Lions Louis, Max and Kai drove and ran forward hard. George, Gus, Billy and Aiden were full of commitment in defence, whilst Harvey showed how it could be done great try against Hove. Nicholas came alive against Lewes with a hat trick of scores.
So no red face for me today and a signed shirt it seems I'm destined to have but instead a headache in how to nurture the teams will to keep the ball alive, whilst cutting the mistakes and gifts to the opposition.
Lastly thanks to all the parents for their great support today. The Elliots great work with the raffle along with those that helped out and Phil, Michael, Jeff and Dean for marshalling the pitches. The Under 11's team did a great job today and I pass on the thanks of the whole age group for all their efforts.