The Saxons were looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat against Bognor with a good performance against a well drilled Burgess Hill team.
Again struggling to put out a trained front row, L. Ather stepped up and volunteered to go in as hooker. As anyone who has played Burgess Hill previously knows, their pack is always strong and this change would affect our pack, or so we thought.
Hellingly started strongly and within the first few minutes had a penalty, just to the left of the posts. Up stepped H. Jones and unfortunately the ball rebounded of the post and cleared by Burgess Hill.
The first scrum followed shortly and the big Burgess Hill pack were beaten by the Saxons pack.
Some great Hellingly tackling thwarted Burgess Hill as they pushed for the opening score, however at 12 min a Saxons line out on their own 5 meter line, was not straight and the resultant scrum was won by Burgess Hill, who distributed the ball out and went over for the try. Conversion missed, Burgess Hill 5 -0.
Hellingly came back strongly from the kick off and MoM P.Ives was leading the charge hitting every like there's was no tomorrow and making a real nuisance out of himself.
This great Saxons pressure forced Burgess Hill into a knock on, Scrum down, ball out and more great pressure results in line out 5m from BH line, with M. Dawber and O. Meacher (making his first appearance for the season) at forefront. Burgess Hill clear.
22 mins gone and a Hellingly scrum from Burgess Hill knock on, this is fantastic from the forwards. A storming run from N. Rainsley ate up the ground into the Burgess Hill. A penalty came quickly as a result of this pressure, within kicking distance. Up stepped H. Jones, he was never going to mis 2 in a row. 5-3 Burgess Hill.
32 Mins a great kick by H. Jones and pushed The Saxons into the Burgess Hill 22, and Burgess Hill gave away another penalty.
Hellingly penalty and going for goal… 6-5 Hellingly great kick H. Jones.
From the resultant kick not going 10, the packs went down during the scrum, forcing M. Searle off with injury and forcing the first change.
F. Francis on to the Wing and R. Vint moving to flanker.
6-5 half time
Subs made at half time C. Alexander on for O. Meacher.
Straight from the kick off the ball travelled over the forwards and in to the 5 meter line, unfortunately C. Alexander misjudged the his positioning and tapped the ball back, keeping it in play, but straight into the hands of the onrushing opposition. Try score and converted. 12-6 Burgess Hill.
Although heads dropped slightly, the Saxons came back strongly with some hard running from S. Stenning and D. Puttick, then quick ball out and a lovely worked move lead to T. Mankelow cutting through the Burgess Hill backs to score. H. Jones with the conversion …13-12 Hellingly.
Some silly mistakes were starting to creep in and Hellingly invited pressure onto themselves. This led to a Burgess Hill line out and who set up their big prop to run over from 5 meters, with 3 Hellingly players hanging off him. 19-12 Burgess Hill.
Sub: C. Alexander off O. Meacher on 63 mins.
Unfortunately with Burgess Hill now taking on some injuries and their 1st’s winning convincingly, the Saxons now started to face off against a couple of their 1st’s.
On 69 Min Burgess Hill broke through the midfield and went over in the corner with the overlap. Conversion missed, 24-13 Burgess Hill.
8 minutes left and a bit of ping pong ball and out of nothing Burgess Hill score, conversion good 31-13 Burgess Hill.
5 mins left and a quick ball to the centre of the park and H. Jones slipped his tackler running through and passes the ball out to the winger, who wasn’t on the same wavelength and still some distance back, surely a try in any other game.
Another break through from the backs led to T. Mankelow breaking through and unfortunately wasn’t able to off load with on the 5 meter line to the supporting players and Burgess Hill were able to clear, again any other match and surely a try.
When the whistle blew, the Saxons knew that this should have been a different result but for some silly mistakes, not common in this team these days. But full credit to Burgess Hill for taking their chances.
The Saxons go to Brighton this Saturday, hungry to make amends for this performance and get a big ‘W’ on the board, before a week off the league fixtures.
MoM – P. Ives