Burgess Hill Under 14s Vs Brighton
Burgess Hill Under 14s A Team played Brighton A team in a Sussex League game on Sunday.
This was due to be a tough match as Brighton were unbeaten and looked like the strongest team in the league.
The match kicked off with Hill fired up to compete against the favorites the Blues and did not disappoint. Playing up the slope in the first half Brighton showed their hand with some strong running from the off and tested the Hill tackling.
Despite the larger scrum, Hill took a couple of balls against the head and kept possession well but failed to make the breakthrough. An infringement meant that Brighton were awarded a penalty and kicked for the corner. Catching the lineout they decided to try and bust the Hill defence.
However the team spirit at the All Blacks is so strong that the determination to keep the Blues out was immense.
The attack was finally repelled after a superb chop tackle by open side Upton took down the Blues player who was them immediately pounced on with a superb jackal of the ball by blind side flanker Hovell. The penalty awarded to Hill caused a rousing cheer from players and supporters alike.
Hill made their way steadily down the slope and forced a mistake by the Brighton winger to knock on.
The Hill scrum was solid and planned move to bring the winger from out to in behind the scrum and across the pitch to get beyond the defensive line worked a treat and Hill flyer Bennett was through and with a side step of the full back, he scored under the posts.
Rogers stepped up for the conversion and it was 7-0 to Burgess Hill.
Brighton however are not top of the league for nothing and immediately pushed Hill back. Strong running and direct rucking took Brighton to the Hill line and one of their strongest runners burst over in the corner for the try. However the conversion was missed so the score was 7-5 to Hill.
Hill were not content to sit back and started pressurizing the Blues line and centre A Baker stormed over the line only to be denied by a great rip and rescue from the Brighton Centre.
The last few minutes of the half saw both sides tackle hard and the battle of the defenses continued to the whistle. 7-5 was the half time score.
Hill made several changes at half time swapping in Collingbourne to fly half and Attwater to second row to give the team a lift. The second half saw Brighton use the slope well and work on their territory game.
Whilst the line outs are a non-competitive throw, Brighton were quick to pounce on any loose ball. Possession in the Hill 22m lead to Brighton crossing for an simple try and with the successful conversion meant Brighton took the lead at 7-12.
The spirit of the All Blacks really helped to raise the team and from a penalty in their own half, Hill ran at an unprepared opposition and with a half break and great off load from full back Rogers, Back of the Match O. Bennett stripped the outside of the Brighton defense and with yet another step that’s been added to his armory, the score was made under the posts.
Rogers stepped up and, showing more maturity each week, slotted the conversion for a 14-12 lead to Hill.
The match continued to ebb and flow and some tremendous work by various team members helped keep the All Blacks pressurizing the Blues. Forward of the Match Attwater made a tremendous tackle in the mid field that yet again stopped the Brighton momentum and raised the crowd and team alike.
However Brighton had a strong running and great stepping mid field and a clever run and cut inside took the Hill defence by surprise and a score was made under the posts. With the conversion successful, Brighton took the lead yet again at 14-19.
Hill immediately raised their game and drove hard up the slope with Bennett again making some great head way on the left wing. Superb support by the Hill back row saw the ball recycled and pressure on the Brighton line intensified. Hill however lost the ball in contact and Brighton tried to run out and flanker Upton put in another tackle to stop them dead. The frustration on both sides boiled over whilst there were some “hand bags” from both sides, the referee adjudged that Upton was at fault and was shown a yellow card. Whilst this gave Brighton a temporary reprieve. Hill showed some determination and powered up the slope to kept the pressure on.
Despite their best efforts, Hill were unable to make that final break through and the score finished at 14-19.
It must be said that the whole squad put in a massive shift and made coaches and supporters extremely proud of their efforts – nothing left on the pitch.
Afterwards the lads enjoyed some great BHRFC Club house hospitality and despite losing, ended the morning with a grin on their faces.