Horsham Lions clinch third spot in Intermediate League

JPCT 221114 S14490613x Nick Bell in action for the Horsham 1st XV earlier in the season - photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141124-092449001

JPCT 221114 S14490613x Nick Bell in action for the Horsham 1st XV earlier in the season - photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141124-092449001

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Horsham Lions sealed third place in the Sussex Intermediate League with a 22-13 final-day victory over Shoreham on Saturday.

The home side went into the match in poor form, while Shoreham had only lost one game in their last eight.

Both sides were heading into the match with a chance of promotion, equal on points with Horsham only ahead of Shoreham on points difference.

Shoreham took control of the game early with a penalty goal and a try from their pacey full-back to lead 8-0.

Horsham regained possession from the restart and following a number of powerful drives, Joey Walker crashed over for a try.

With this score the Shoreham came fighting back with a sweeping attack which saw their left wing score in the corner.

Some big line breaks from centre Dan Crook and number eight Joe Emson led to the Lions’ second try of the game with prop and captain Mike Penfold scoring in the corner after impressive work by the forwards for a 13-10 half-time lead.

Nick Bell, returning from injury, was a massive factor in the defence in the second half.

The Lions’ third try came from Walker with another pick and drive from the base of a ruck and a powerful leg drive to crash his way over for his second try.

James Layzell converted from out wide on an indifferent day with the boot.

The final score of the game came from massive breaks from Bell and Layzell with winger Jerry Downey being put in for the fourth try.

Team manager Andy Layzell: said “This game was an impressive display by a strong Lions team against a determined Shoreham and our tight five put in a massive shift against a dominant scrum.

“Our aggression at the breakdown was some of the best this season and caused Shoreham problems that allowed us to go through the phases and patterns to get the ball wide where we had dominance and scored our tries.

“This season has been a mixed bag by the Lions who put in some outstanding performances, with a number of players making the move to the first team. Finishing third in our league is a fair reflection of our season and is a good strong position to set us up to target winning the league next season.”