Rugby – Uckfield take on strong Pulborough side

Uckfield has played its first cup match of the season, welcoming what turned out to be a strong Pulborough side to Hempstead Fields, writes Gordon Buckland.uckfield-rugby-club-logo-un

Uckfield rested a few senior players carrying knocks from earlier matches, and it looked to be a good idea as they raced into a 14-0 lead with two tries from Lee Evans and two conversions from Charlie Buckland but Pulborough, who had started slowly, compounded with some individual errors, got back into the game with an unconverted try.

This slowed Uckfield but the dominant Uckfield Scrum was making a difference and it wasn’t long before space was created and Zac Mellett was to go over followed by the conversion, and then some good forwards work led well by Matt Evans linked up with the backs and a perfectly timed pass enabled Jake Siggs to score his first try for the 1st XV.

So 26-5 at half time game over!

Well, not so quick, whatever the coach said at half time Pulborough came out playing at a higher tempo, using the strength and pace of their three quarters to pummel Uckfield and score three unanswered tries. Two converted the score, now 26-24, and it looked like next team to score wins.

Missed tackle

Pulborough looked the most likely when a break away missed tackle left their pacy centre running for a certain try only for MOM Matt De Souza somehow to make up the ground, and make an excellent tackle and turnover, quite brilliant the whole crowd applauded his incredible effort.

But still Pulborough pushed and within the last two or three minutes another penalty against Uckfield was awarded in a good kicking position.

It looked all over but the kicker fluffed his lines letting Uckfield off the hook, and they then showed a touch of class working their way the full length of the field for Matt Evans to score in the corner.

Huge praise

It was to be the last play, Uckfield winners but Pulborough deserve huge praise for their effort, desire, and commitment.

Uckfield move on and will face East Grinstead in the new year in the next round.

Uckfield 2nd XV played St Francis 2s in the Harvey’s of Sussex Vase/Salver and won 17-43. This was a great victory.

They will now face Eastbourne 2s on January 19.

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