Rugby – Uckfield 13 – Aylesford Bulls 7

Uckfield returned to Hempstead Fields on Saturday after a number of weeks playing far and wide in Kent.

The last few fixtures had taken its toll on Uckfield with 5 first team regulars on the sidelines through injury but given the absentees, The Acorns were still positive about the starting side to take the field with a good mix of youth and experience.

The playing conditions were exceptionally poor with a great deal of rain and very heavy underfoot. Aylesford started the brighter of the two teams with wave after wave of attack in the home side’s 22 but were unable to turn it into any points, before a turnover and clearance from Uckfield. Once in The Bulls half, Uckfield seemed to find its stride and start playing rugby. Even in the conditions, The Acorns played wide expansive rugby, attacking the space. After 15 minutes, Gregg Chappell broke the line and off loaded to newly repositioned Harvey Stonebridge who crashed over to score the games first try.

The first half continued with excellent tactical kicking from Charlie Buckland and Dan Poulton. The pressure eventually turned to penalties and Buckland added 3 more points from wide on the right In the dying embers of the first half. The Bulls managed to produce their own well worked try, after keeping hold of the ball for a number of phases and having managed to find field position they scored under the posts.

Half Time 10-7.

The Second half was a real arm wrestle in the conditions. Uckfield controlled most of the territory however, and were able to neutralise any attacked made.

Uckfield stretched their lead to 6 points with another penalty.

The defensive effort of the Uckfield team was at times outstanding, fighting hard close to their own line to hold out the big powerful Bulls forwards showing heart and commitment from all involved.

Particular mention must go to the front row for both outstanding scrummaging and work rate around the park, Harry Harper-Dowe for being dynamic and annoying in the air during Aylesford line-outs, and Gregg Chappell for an assured performance in a new position.

Uckfield have a week off next week before a tough clash away at Gillingham on the first Saturday in December.

ALL IMAGES by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)