Sussex 1 Eastbourne RFC 7 v Uckfield RFC1s 13
Uckfield RFC 1st XV kicked off the season at Eastbourne, the visitors finishing runners up last season were hoping with all the changes enforced on them by retirement and injury that the team would still be able to compete, Eastbourne with a young changed team for similar reasons were a very strong physical and determined side to find out against, but Uckfield were up for it and competed well at the breakdown and showed great strength in the scrum winning good clean ball.
Some indiscipline from Eastbourne led to a number of penalties with Charlie Buckland nudging two over early on to give the visitors a 6 – 0 lead, the penalty count continued with both sides receiving yellow cards in a disjointed first half.
The second half started much better for the home side a well worked try when stretching Uckfield across the pitch. With the wind at their backs and downhill advantage for Eastbourne it did not look good for Uckfield, but new captain Steve Hartfield supported by the return to rugby of Terry Funnel and Colt Styjin Brouwer drove the team on.
Eventually it paid off with clean ball to the backs who used it well for man of the match contender Ian Paige Mitchell to run in at the corner, a good conversion from Buckland and Uckfield led 13 -7 with 20 mins to go, there was to be no more scoring which was surprising as both teams got deep into the oppositions half but could not find a way through.
A good win for Uckfield a first for Masefau Leuluniu the new Head Coach who is really bringing a bright young squad together. A great marker laid down for the season.
Uckfield were made very welcome at Eastbourne and look forward to the return later in the season.
Next up is Seaford at home another tough match no doubt but one Uckfield will look forward to after this start.