Uckfield 1st XV 46 vs. Hove 2nd XV 24
Uckfield bounced back in Sussex 1 on Saturday, with a resounding 8-try showcase against a struggling Hove side at Hempstead Playing Fields.
On the day of the club’s 50th Anniversary Gala Ball, nothing less than a bonus-point win would be enough to please the excellent home support.
The first half an hour was one-way traffic, with Uckfield dominating both territory and possession. Full Back Ryan Teager had a brilliant attacking game, scoring the two openers, the second being an outstanding team effort. No.8 Martin Chappell was next on the score-sheet, with a very well taken try from a shortened attacking lineout.
Whilst Hove’s defence was spirited in places, matched by ferocious Uckfield tackling, the Acorns took advantage of an inexperienced back line in front of them, to score a try of the season contender. Over half the length of the pitch, from prop Adam Palmer’s great hands, through tackle and offloads and across to the opposite wing, fly half Charlie Buckland finished it off. With no points from the boot however, Hove fought back in the last ten minutes of the first half, scoring two tries in quick succession, converting one, and pulling back to a 20-12 deficit.
After some stern words at half time, Uckfield started the second half the way they started the first; 18 year old Harvey Stonebridge finished a brilliant try in the corner, captain Lee Evans and centre Dom Scott both made excellent individual efforts to add to the tally, whilst Charlie Buckland found some form, slotting the remaining conversions.
Not to be seen off, Hove fought back tenaciously, scoring two further tries through a lack of Uckfield tackling. The moment of the match however came late in the game, much to the delight of the home support, as prop Calum McNally made a break down the wing, offloading inside to fellow prop Adam Palmer, who touched down to seal the victory 46 -24.
A game played in reasonably good spirits, where a Hove player was extremely fortunate to be shown only a yellow for a reckless challenge to an Uckfield head, the home side are moving on well towards the business end of Sussex 1.
ALL IMAGES by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)