Uckfield end 2019 with victory over local rivals, Heathfield on derby day

Uckfield RFC 1s 17 – Heathfield and Waldron RFC 1s 10

Heathfield brought a young team to Hempstead Field off the back of an unexpected victory over League Leaders, Ashford, the week before. The Acorns were again without a number of key first team players and as such welcomed debutants Joe Pratt and Michael Grabtree into the first team squad.

While heavy underfoot, the Uckfield pitch team (Friday Club) had worked hard to get the pitch in a good state considering the weather of late.

Heathfield started the brighter of the two sides as the main early gains and there prop crashed over to score within 5 minutes. Uckfield then used the conditions well and controlled large portions of the first half. They were rewarded with 3 tries in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Rhys Pratt scoring first from close range, the second an exceptional team score with young winger Cullum Harvey scoring out wide. And finally on the stroke of half time, Uckfield put considerable pressure on at a five meter scrum before scrum half, Sean Bates crashed over the score. The extras were added by Dan Poulton. 17-5 at half time.

The second half proved to be an equally bruising and physical encounter with a number of penalties and yellow cards for both teams. Uckfield showed exceptional commitment in defence, stopping a number of waves of Heathfield attack.

The final score 17-10 to Uckfield and a hard fought battle by both teams.

ALL IMAGES by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)