Heath RAMs started at a disadvantage after a number of their semi-final squad were unavailable and this was further compounded by the late announcement of an early kick off, which left Heath with a diminished line-up and without a full bench to call on in the latter stages of what would turn out to be a fractious match up with their old Sussex rivals. Nonetheless Heath started strongly and scored an early try after some well worked phases of play. The conversion was missed but Heath continued to create scoring opportunities despite an ever-growing penalty count against Horsham. Against the run of play Horsham were themselves awarded a penalty and took the three points in front of the posts making the score 5-3.
At the restart Heath got penned into their own half until a turnover at the lineout gave them the opportunity to take the attack to Horsham. Despite a few handling errors, Heath were able to score from a strong forwards move, making it 10-3 as the conversion again went wide of the posts. A scrappy period of play followed with continued penalties from Horsham and handling errors from Heath until Horsham broke through Heath's defence to score a try under the posts. A successful conversion put the scores level at 10-10 after 30 minutes of play.
As half time approached, another penalty to Heath this time in front of posts was kicked taking the score to 13-10. Further calls for offside in quick succession gave Heath another kickable opportunity which missed wide and took the sides to half time at 13-10 to Heath. Having had the lion's share of the opportunities, Heath’s handling errors when under pressure stood between a one score margin and already putting the game out of sight.
The second half started in the same way as the first only this time it was Heath indiscipline leading to a series of penalties for Horsham. A high tackle in front of the posts gave Horsham the penalty opportunity to get back on level terms after 50 minutes. Heath injected new energy using its two replacements but continued indiscipline from Heath led to a try from Horsham and, down 13-15, Heath were left chasing the game. Heath's lineout failed to function properly all afternoon and things were about to get more challenging for Heath as they had a player knocked out cold and was forced to retire. Heath's play became more fragmented and culminated in a yellow card for their hard working and invaluable number 8, swiftly followed by a runaway try for Horsham which was converted to give them a sizeable 13-22 lead with time running out. There followed yet another penalty to Horsham, in a position where they couldn't resist taking the points to extend their lead to 13-25.
With the minutes counting down Heath were not yet done and broke through a tiring Horsham defence to score a try and add the conversion so the score stood at 20-25. At the restart Heath had the opportunity to run down the wing and force extra time, but Horsham managed to snuff out the run and it was 20-25 at the final whistle, with Horsham winning the much-coveted Harvey's Sussex Bowl.
Heath RAMS squad: Karl Wicking, Freddy Whitehead, Martin Mcdonagh, Kenny Hugh, Dan Fergusson, Henry Dickson, Dewi Uridge, Will Purdy, Massimo Hillier, Will Reeves-Perrin, David Moore , Chris Neill (Captain), Tyler Edwards, Harry Sandercock, Ed Hill, Tony Gregory, Patrick Sandys-Renton, Will Haworth, Guy Sandys-Renton, Ant Rawbin
Updated 09:13 - 17 Apr 2018 by Tracey Spuyman