On another fine day at Hempstead fields Uckfield lost a game they arguably should have won against high flying Bromley.
The game began with a series of Bromley attacks in the midfield which resulted in an early penalty for coming in at the side which was cleared by the home side. Uckfield attacked and were awarded a series of penalties which resulted in a missed kick for goal by Yaffe who was destined not to have his best day with the boot. Bromley replied aggressively and gained a line out 10 metres from the home line which was cleared. From the resulting lineout a good crossfield kick from Beaumont was well collected and moved by the away side, resulting in a well-executed try which was simply converted.
Despite this setback Uckfield continued to press and after a good break from Finn Wilding Uckfield missed a good chance with a knock on. Uckfield’s pack drove Bromley off the ball from the resulting scrum, which became the pattern for the afternoon. The resulting penalty was again missed. The restart was taken back with interest by Luke Austin into the Bromley 22 but another promising move was stopped by a dropped ball. This was followed by a good passage of play from the home side including some good play from Lee Evans and Toby Keogh and another dominant scrum, but ball mishandling again cost Uckfield dear.
Uckfield then conceded a penalty for hands in the ruck and almost another try after a great break out of defence by Bromley was thwarted by a magnificent cover tackle from Jack Newcombe. A good kick from Yaffe resulted in a threatening move and a kickable penalty for the home side, which was sadly again missed. Uckfield’s scrum was pushing Bromley all over the park in the tight, but it was a different story in the loose as the away side built strongly around a driving maul in the middle of the 22 and drove straight through Uckfield’s defence to score a well constructed try under the posts, which was converted.
Uckfield responded in similar vein, but lost control of the ball. The half time whistle blew with URFC 0-14 down and wondering why.
The second half began with Elms on for Luke Austin and several storming breaks by Uckfield, all spoilt by handling errors. Influential young front row Tom Wilding was downed by a cut head and replaced with Ollie Parke-Gailey taking over in the front row. This did not diminish the power of the home scrummage which remained dominant until the end of the game. A pattern was developing of continual Uckfield pressure relieved by the occasional break from Bromley. Greg Chappell was stopped in the corner and then Uckfield won a penalty in front of the posts. The home’s side’s luck with the boot did not change however as Keogh’s kick hit the post and rebounded to a Bromley hand.
Waves of Uckfield attacks followed with a chase from Lee Evans nearly rewarded with a try. However they simply could not score with handling errors multiplying. Bromley’s defence grew more desperate with their skipper yellow carded. Uckfield’s lineout was beginning to malfunction and several chances were lost in this area. Matt Evans however almost created a try from one of these but yet again URFC were unable to convert pressure into points.
A good break from defence by Bromley was halted by excellent Uckfield cover defence, and Wilding was finally brought back on with the blood staunched. Tremendous pressure followed with Matt Evans held up from a 5 metre scrum and several scrums taken instead of penalty attempts. However still URFC couldn’t break through, due in no small part to excellent defence from the Bromley number 8 Lamb.
Uckfield continued to press for the rest of the game but were unable to penetrate a resolute Bromley defence, so after a scoreless second half the away side ran out 14-0 winners over a frustrated Uckfield.
More rugby in this week’s Sussex Express including Uckfield Seconds report