Hove U10s 1 - Haywards Heath Festival - 30 Oct 16
Well done Hove U10s
And so to our 5th festival which was a mixed ability festival at Haywards Heath which we complied with so we had c. 4 A players per team and the rest were B players or new players this season.
First up for Team 1 was Haywards Heath and it took a while for the team to get into festival mode as HH faced into a 2:0 lead. It was great seeing Aidan West back for Hove though and he was in support of a Hove break to add pace to the finish to pull a try back at half time. Hove levelled from the start of the second half, again through Aidan West and through some effective counter-rucking from Sam Worne, the ball was moved out to Oliver Brooks who galloped over for the lead. However, to their credit HH came back at us and scored a good equalising try and it ended 3:3.
Next up were Wallingham, a team from the outskirts of some town called London and they felt a true Sussex welcome from Hove with one or two bone crunching tackles. Edward Campbell capitalised on a spilt ball from one such tackle to give Hove an early lead and then powerful attacking play from the team resulted in both Sam Worne and Oliver Brooks powering over to give a comfortable 3:0 win.
Next up were another London fringe team from Epsom and Sutton who were really well drilled and a big unit rumbling forward but gave a bit of a first half demonstration to Hove in how to ride tackles and release the ball down the line before the tackle and they stormed into a deserved 2:0 lead at half time. Things had to change and after a strong and forthright debrief by the coaches Andy and Paul, Hove stepped it up in the second half and showed Epson how we do things down on the South Coast with three excellent and unanswered tries with 2 for Aidan West and 1 for Sam Worne.
The games were coming thick and fast now and next up were Hastings. Hastings are also a well drilled unit with fair players and good coaches and in a hugely entertaining match, both teams tried to gain an advantage. Hove scored first with Aidan West charging for the corner. Hastings hit back almost immediately but Hove increased the pressure and the tackle count in the second half and Sam Worne again powered over for the winning try. It finished 2:1 to Hove.
The final match for team 1 was what is quickly becoming 'El Classico'; 'Le Grande Une'; 'Yr Un Mawr'; 'The big one' !! ...against Chichester!! Having seen Hove team 2 suffer a 3:1 defeat to Chichester earlier, the air was rife with the smell of revenge. In what was a very tough match for both teams, and not helped by some challenging referee decisions, Chichester got into a 2 try lead that we could not get back from. To be fair to Chichester, whilst there is clearly a level to their aggression which is too far in some cases, they are a very good side who play on the front foot a lot and who were very effective in stopping our team making forward gains when we had the ball and we struggled to get out of our half in the second half period.
So all in all a really great effort. Further development for the new boys is encouraging. We need to work on driving forward as a team. There is still too much individual running across and backwards which is costing us against the better teams who are on the front foot but this will come with 3 weeks of solid training now ahead. Well played to Oliver Brooks, Edward Campbell, Finton(Finn) Crean, Toby Heal, Nathanael Andrawos, Zac Papanicola, Noah Powell, Luca Sell, Sam Worne and Aidan West.