Dave Valentine, Head of Prep School Boys' Games reports:
Having won the 7's tournment earlier in March, the pressure on the 1st XV was intense as they faced the prospect of the Sussex Cup final, and achieving a rare double for Prep school rugby. With the boys' hockey season in full swing, it was a case of stealing time here, there and everywhere to fit in some much needed training and, thanks to all concerned, this proved possible.
On Cup final day, Hurst arrived at Worthing RFC in plenty of time to allow the players to focus their minds on the job in hand. Cup finals are nervous, tense affairs and the strangest of things can happen. Hurst started well by securing possession and moving the ball wide and it was not long when, from quick ruck ball, James Mitchell, received the ball in space, and dived over in the left hand corner to open the scoring for Hurst.
Windlesham immediately came back at Hurst, forcing them to defend their line and, had it not been for some brave defending, they might well have crossed Hurst’s try line. Hurst re-grouped and, for the remainder of the first half, both teams had their fair share of possession and it was end-to-end rugby. A Windlesham scrum on their own try line, which was won against the head, saw George Oliver go blind to score the second try and put Hurst 10 points in front. Windlesham dug deep and, on the stroke of half time, they closed the gap by outpacing the Hurst defence to make the half time score 10 – 5.
To see a brief video showing Hurst's second try, pass your mouse over the video box below and click on the start button when it appears.
With everything to play for, the second half was going to be a nail-biting time for all those who came to support. The next score was crucial and both teams gave everything they had to try to achieve it and, had it not been for some magnificent defending by Sam Pfeiffer, James Hadfield, Jonny Newland, James Mitchell, Edward Firth and Ross Budgen, Windlesham might so easily have equalised. Hurst did get their fair share of possession and they certainly dominated territorially in the second half, but failed to break their opponents' defence. Windlesham, however, did cross Hurst’s try line but the ball was dropped which resulted in a 5 metre scrum that allowed Hurst to clear their line.
The closing stages of the match it was all Hurst and, had the few overlap opportunities been taken, the boys should have widened the gap to finish with a greater margin. That was not the case, however, and the score line remained 10 – 5 in Hurst’s favour.
A big thank you to all the parents who have come to support throughout the season and given up their time so their sons were available to train … A true team effort! Thanks also to Rob Harvey who patched up the injured and put them back on the pitch.
Man of the Match: Big performances from all the players but Toby Barker, who controlled the back line and played a very mature game, and Jack Troak, who was solid as a rock at the back and put in some great counter attacks.
To see more photographs from the match and afterwards, please click here
20 May 2013