Uckfield welcomed East Grinstead for a Sussex Shield Quarter final clash, a decent size crowd on a beautiful sunny day were in for a real treat, two sides going at each other full bore with first one team then the other taking control, writes Gordon Buckland
It was a good start by the home side who after some good work by the forwards, who were in control making space for Alex Hughes to score in the corner.
Uckfield had control and should really of made better use of it and scored more but East Grinstead with a new looking side were fighting hard and creating chances themselves.
Nat Humphries and Sean Bate who was playing his first senior game was to score some good tries and Charlie Buckland got a conversion meaning Uckfield went in 17-7 up at half time.
The second half saw the visitors dominate for long periods, but a try for each meant the score was 22-14,Uckfield were working hard and when Man of the Match, Matt De Souza went over under the post.
This was converted by Buckland and the home crowd (in T shirts in February) thought they were home and dry.
Both Funnel and Evans had to leave the field and Uckfield were relying on 3 colts on debut to see the game out.
Two converted tries for the visitors and the score was 29-31 and one minute to go.
Uckfield need a hero well from the restart Uckfield forwards manage to get over the ball, penalty awarded 40m out just to the left of the posts, up stepped Charlie Buckland who drilled it through the middle 32-31! There was relief all round as the final whistle blew.
There was special mention for Captain Steve Hartfield, Sean Bate, Matt De Souza and Davy Armstrong who all gave it everything.
The future looks bright with the colts who played, a real pat on the back for Harry Smith their coach who is bringing through some really exciting players.
Harvey’s Sussex Shield (Quarter final ) Uckfield RFC 1s 32 v East Grinstead RFC 31
Uckfield look forward to welcoming Hastings for the semi final.
ALL IMAGES by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)