More of the same for Borough down at Lewes......
And another head-start given to the opposition before the team fire into action.
Match Report by Rick Howe
Our Referee - Mr Richard Hanks
This was the first time for several seasons that these two sides have met in the League, and for Crowborough this was a must win match if they were to get out of the bottom half of the table, but yet again the visitors came off second best, in what is becoming an all too familiar story of “Curates Egg Rugby” – good in parts, but neither good enough for the win or even a much needed bonus point.
Crowborough came out of the blocks as a unit, and playing to their strengths of a strong pack, soon had Lewes pinned down deep in their own 22, where only some excellent last ditch defensive work kept ‘Boro off the score sheet.
But once more the initial collective teamwork failed to capitalise on the possession and territory gifted to them, and as frustration built the cohesiveness started to unravel, and with it so did the simple skills. After a ten minute period of ‘Boro in the accendancy, the point of attack was moved to the backs, but inexplicably all seven committed to the attack leaving themselves dangerously exposed at the back. The dropped pass soon tested that theory as a massive fly hack sent the ball careering into the ‘Boro half for the first time, and with everyone in attack ‘Boro did well to get back and clear the ball into touch five metres from their own line. However Lewes won the lineout and drove over to touch down in the left hand corner for a well converted try, albeit against the run of play. 7-0
Chris Yates had a slim chance of pulling three points back from a penalty on the Lewes 10 metre line, that although it had the length was pulled just wide of the posts. Two penalties, well within kicking range, were then awarded to Lewes that took the score to 13-0. For the remainder of the half, Lewes were full of confidence, and sparing their under pressure forwards, kept the ball in the hands of their lively backs who fully tested the resilience of the ‘Boro line, who came up trumps keeping the score at 13-0 at half time.
Coach Dan Moore had several strong words with his young charges at half time, in an attempt to ensure that they not only played to their forward strength, but that they played deep in their opponents half, reminding them that trying to run out of defence in those wet conditions was a nothing but a ‘fool’s errand’.
With Ollie Jude-Trailor on for the Flu ridden Damien Hayes, Dan Moore’s plea for sanity appeared to have the desired effect, as from the kick-off Ollie Jude-Trailor latched onto a pass and ghosted through several missed tackles making thirty metres, and as the rest of the pack caught up, the drive went deep into the Lewes 22. With captain Alex Purnell urging his pack forward the penultimate drive was pulled down on the line, but with the referee playing advantage Rob Horsfall-Turner crossed over for the try. The conversion was contested but the referee ruled that the kick had gone wide, a decision which could have had consequences. 13-5
Lewes once more came back at ‘Boro but their defence held firm, and as the game flowed the length and breadth of the field it was ‘Boro who appeared to be the fitter of the two sides, and while the expansive Lewes attacks may have been cheering their supporters, they were not doing their flagging pack any favours, who had already been forced into making seven changes.
With ten minutes of the match remaining ‘Boro saw their chance, and because of the disallowed kick they now needed two scores. Calling upon his pack for another effort, captain Alex Purnell guarded the ball at the back of the maul, as they drove the tiring Lewes pack over the line for his score which Chris Yates converted taking the tally to 13-12, and with 8 minutes left.
Having been denied the previous conversion, Crowborough only needed to camp in the Lewes half and await an indiscretion that Yates could take advantage of for the win,------ but ‘Boro went to sleep. The Lewes backs took the ball up to the ‘Boro 22, and from the ensuing ruck the Lewes centre cut a neat line that bisected two watching ‘Boro defenders, to score under the posts for a converted try, that gave Lewes the win and yet again took Crowborough out of ‘losing point territory’ at full time. The Final score, 20-12.