Burgess Hill under 14 A Squad played thier final league game of the season Vs Horsham at Poveys close in what is always a closely contested affair.
The day started with a small set back as usual full back Rogers tried to come back from an ankle injury only to find he was not ready and having to drop out of the Match squad.
Hill played up the slope in the first half and started well with some good drives and strong running from the back line.
The first score was following some Hill pressure forcing a penalty to be conceded by Horsham. Speedy thinking by Hill’s fly half Larder in taking the quick tap with a dummy pass and he was through the gap to score under the posts.
However a rush of blood to the head and Larder decided to take a drop kick to attempt the conversion and unfortunately he missed . 5-0 to Hill.
The next 15 mins were a story of a few All Blacks mistakes leading to Horsham possession and territory. Hill conceded a penalty under pressure and the quick tap by the opposition catching Hill unprepared and the try was scored out wide
The conversion missed but the match was tied at 5-5.
The match restarted and Horsham were using the slope well with pressure on the smaller Hill pack combined with some strong running by the Horsham back line. As half time closed in Hill missed a tackle on the half way and the pacy Horsham winger took the opportunity to run down the touch line.
Some very quick feet to evade the usually strong Hill cover tackles and the winger crossed the line. Cleverly he then ran behind the posts to score and make the conversion easier.
Conversion successful, Horsham now up 5-12.
The end of the half approached and Horsham continued to pile on the pressure but Hill manfully held out.
Half time turn around and Hill lost under 13 front row Cowle to a prior engagement and so back row Kyalo stepped up to fill in.
Facing down the slope always provides a different perspective at Poveys close and The All Blacks felt the tide turning.
It was now Hill’s turn to gain territory and a series of great runs by full back Miller and powerful direct rums but Centre A Baker forced some penalties to be given away by Horsham and Hill were camped on their line.
Yet another penalty given away and Larder, who had now moved to the back row, received the ball and cut back across the Horsham defenders and smashed over for the try. Larder looked to make amends for the first half conversion miss but narrowly missed from out wide. Score 10-12 to Horsham.
Rugby is all about momentum and this was definitely on the All Blacks side.
From the kick-off scrum half Harrison caught the ball and quickly moved the point of attack. Forward of the Match Larder took the pass and then popped the pass to Bennett. Still with some work to do, Bennett powered through the first 2 tackles and found the gap.
Needing only a sniff, Bennett had open space in front of him and set off. However the Horsham defender never gave up and needing all his pace, Bennett made the line for a score under the posts.
New Hill fly half Collingbourne took the conversation and it was 17-12 to Hill.
With their tail’s up Hill were looking for more. Back of the Match A Baker caught yet another kick and smashed down the line. The ball offloaded to Lessacher and Hill were behind the defensive line. What was looking like the score of the match was then popped inside and A Baker who just missed the catch to knock on.
The pressure was all on Horsham and Hill were driving and recycling the ball well. From a quick ball Collingbourne executed a superbly placed kick to drop just outside the Horsham try line. A kick is only as good as the chase and the Hill pressure lead to Horsham putting the ball down over the line leading to a 5m Hill scrum.
The All Blacks forwards kept the scrum steady and H Baker, Hill’s captain, topped off a superb performance with a no.8 pick up and great drive to score near the posts.
Collingbourne slotted the extras for the score of 24-12 to Hill.
Hill finished the season on a high with a gutsy performance never giving up and coming back from behind at half time.
Yet again all coaches and parents were hugely proud of all the boys.
Next week we have a training session and then the Easter rest.
Squad: MacAlister, Clegg, Cowle, Kyalo, Watts, Hovell, Upton, H Baker, Harrison, Larder, Bennett, A Baker, Granger, Lessacher, Miller, Fox, Collingbourne, Simonet, Rogers (inj)