Uckfield 32, East Grinstead 31
Uckfield welcomed East Grinstead for a Sussex Shield Quarter final clash. A decent size crowd on a beautiful sunny day were in for a real treat, two sides going at each other full bore with first one team then the other taking control, writes Gordon Buckland.
It was a good start by the home side who, after some good work by the forwards, were in control, making space for Alex Hughes to score in the corner.
Uckfield should really of made better use of their control and scored more but East Grinstead, with a new looking side, were fighting hard and creating chances themselves.
Nat Humphries, and Sean Bate playing his first senior game at 9, were to score good tries out wide. Charlie Buckland got a conversion meaning Uckfield went in 17-7 up at half time.
The second half saw East Grinstead dominate for long periods, but a try for each meant the score was 22-14.
Uckfield were working hard when MOM Matt De Souza went over under the post, converted by Buckland.
The home crowd in T-shirts (in February) thought they were home and dry, but with Funnel and Evans having to leave the field, Uckfield were relying on three Colts on debut to see the game out.
Two converted tries for East Grinstead, the score is 29-31 and one minute to go. Uckfield need a hero and from the re-start Uckfield forwards manage to get over the ball, penalty awarded 40m out just to the left of the posts, Charlie Buckland drills it through the middle, it’s 32-31 and relief all round when the final whistle goes.
Special mention for Captain Steve Hartfield, Sean Bate, Matt De Souza and Davy Armstrong who all gave it everything, our future looks bright with the Colts who played, a real pat on the back for Harry Smith their coach who is bringing through some really exciting players.
Uckfield look forward to welcoming Hastings for the semi-final.