Hill and Heath well beaten but at least Plums open account

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There were big league defeats for Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill on Saturday but at least Plumpton got off the mark in some style at Littlehampton.

Heath put in another competitive first-half performance as they trailed 3-17 at home to Brighton but were then overwhelmed as they crashed 3-57.

Former Heath winger James Trevis crossed their line after five minutes and it was only some brave defending, with Sam Drage, Darren Brown and Gareth Quay particularly impressive, that enabled the hosts to keep in range.

Dan Shotton’s excellent jumping won Heath some decent ball but the monopoly was with Brighton and the hosts did well to restrict them to four Alex Finch penalties.

Heath replied with an Owain Jenkins penalty from 45m but with Brown starting the first 10 minutes of the second half in the sin bin, the writing was on the wall as Brighton scored two tries in that time through hooker Henderson and centre Finch.

Lapses in defence hardly helped the cause, while in attack the flair of Jack Lucas, Roscoe Atkins and, especially, Robbie Fotheringham could take Heath only into the opposing half and not much further.

Four tries came in the final quarter through Finch, Molyneux, Henderson and Cherry, and Finch converted three of them to complete the rout.

Something has to give this Saturday at Hove, with both teams seeking their first win.

By contrast, it was in the second half that Plumpton really came good to complete a 42-10 win at Littlehampton.

It was only 17-10 at the midway points despite captain Rob Blake giving Plums a flying start when he kicked a penalty in the first minute.

The hosts replied swiftly with a try but Plums are made of stern stuff and they retook the lead when a well-worked move was finished off as fly half Beale scored under the posts.

Another try from Kiwi Grant Restieaux made it 17-5 before the hosts had the last word of the half with a second unconverted try.

It was a different story after the break, however, as Plums scored three tries in the opening 15 minutes.

Charlie Lewis maintained his 100 per cent scoring record for the club, Brodie Forest crashed over for a fantastic individual try and Dan Franks ran in a long range effort.

Franks earned a share of the MoM award with abrasive No 8 Steve Blake , who was forced off by injury after an heroic last-gasp try-saving tackle.

Plums overwhelmed their hosts with their forwards power plays and a final try by Restieaux came when dynamic scrum half Lewis Beale opened up a gap.

Captain Rob Blake, who provided 12 points from the boot, said after the convincing win: “We needed that win and I was really pleased with my team’s attitude and approach to the game. We played with structure and pace.”

This weekend Plumpton travel to Midhurst for a 3pm start.

While the All Blacks’ front side were crashing to a 17-51 London 3 defeat at Gillingham A, the 2nds more than made amends with a 34-14 victory over Crowborough 3rds.

Injuries to the 1st team squad meant eight changes for the 2nds and that enabled them to give a few of the club’s younger players some experience at a higher level.

It hardly showed in the first half as they used the slope advantage to build a 22-0 lead.

A good chase by the Hill pack forced Crows to kick into touch and when Hill won the ball cleanly, the first of many clean catches by Aaron Jones, that enabled them to drive upfield.

Full back Dave Tyrall made a strong run through the middle and the ball was recycled swiftly to allow winger George Bazire to go in under the posts for a try that John Maple duly converted.

Hill stole several balls, particularly at the line out, and the mounting pressure forced Crows to concede a penalty that Maple converted.

Hill continued to dominate and Brett Medlam capped his best game of the season with a try from which Maple added the extras.

Ian Campbell completed the first half scoring as he went over before llater that day taking part in the Midnight Marathon for Cancer.

Early in the second half injuries forced Hill into making several change, with three back row players ending up in the backs.

The disruption enabled Crows to enjoy a brief spell of dominance but the Hill defence stood firm until hooker Nai picked up a yellow card.

Crows took advantage by scoring a converted try but Hill’s response was swift and positive as Campbell produced the break for Bazire to pick up his second try, which Maple converted to make it 29-7.

Crows did then add their second try, again converted, but it was appropriate Hill had the last word when five minutes from time a blindside attack led to skipper Gary Butcher going over to make the final score 34-14.

This Saturday the 2nd team are at Poveys Close to face Eastbourne 2nds (3).