Uckfield took a step closer to winning the league and gaining promotion with a pragmatic 32-0 victory over second placed Crawley, writes Gordon Buckland.
With a strong wind behind their backs in the first half Uckfield agreed before kick off a clear game plan and were able to execute it exceptionally well. Controlling the territory and working hard on the kick chase, Uckfield put Crawley under pressure early. After 5 minutes, a penalty was awarded, allowing Charlie Buckland the opportunity to put the ball in the corner. From the resulting line out, good work from the front five led to a catch and drive from the pack. Davy Armstrong continuing his superb form, latched onto the back of the rolling drive to score the games first try. The conversion was missed.
Uckfield continued to dominate territory, the front five working hard around the park and the centres running strong direct lines. A Crawley infringement on the 22 after 13 minutes resulted in a penalty being slotted by Buckland. It only took 2 minutes before Uckfield were again in the Crawley 22 with another line out in close range. A similar catch and drive led to hooker, Nat Humphreys crashing over. 13-0 after 15 minutes and The Acorns tails were up.
Crawley continued to work hard with some strong running into the Uckfield centres. It was Uckfield’s powerful outside centre, Dom Scott however, who made the impact as he raced over to score The Acorns third try after 20 minutes. The conversion was missed. Uckfield continued to play most of the rugby, putting Crawley under pressure and pinning them back in there own half. 10 minutes after Scott’s score, the bonus point try was scored. After a number of close pick and drives from the forwards, a cross field kick was taken exceptionally well by Zak Mellett, scoring in the corner.
While the score line looked rather one sided, 25-0 at halftime, the Uckfield players knew that the strong wind had given them an advantage. The second half would prove to be a much closer affair. Having to fundamentally change tactic, Uckfield looked to keep ball in hand and play much more rugby.
Both teams battled hard, but it was Uckfield who scored the only points of the half. The scrum had performed well all game and from a very solid platform 20 meters out some clever interplay between Scrum Half, Jack Newcome and Buckland resulted in Newcome sliding in to score.
A game played in great sprints by both sides, exceptionally physical and a testament to Sussex One rugby.