HEATHFIELD went into this last game of the season with a good side and for half a game gave the hosts as good as they got.
Midhurst, already promoted, were intent on going up as champions and thus started the sharper. Heathfield, safe from relegation and after a long coach ride, took their time to get up to pace and it was no surprise that the visitors conceded an early try from a line-out up on the right. Still under pressure the Greenies gradually got back into the game and seemed to have weathered the storm when a piece of good fortune for the home side saw a chip through ricochet into the arms of one of their centres for a second score.
Thereafter the first half was punctuated by well-crafted breaks from Heathfield with only a scrambled defence from the hosts keeping them at bay. Seb Jones, Ross Riley and Sam Thewlis featured highly but it was man of the match, David Bayly, who shone finest in this firmament and eventually from a loose tap at a line-out snaffled the loose ball and went over on the right for Jez Burdett to convert. With only a 12-7 deficit at half time and having finished the first half the stronger, Heathfield started the second half with the belief that they could pull off a shock win. It was not to be. Midhurst had introduced an antipodean No.8 just before half time and he began to make a big impact on the game. A couple of missed tackles off the back of the scrum and the hosts were 19 points clear.
A bit of fortune from another kick and the game was irretrievable. Heathfield’s subs steadied the flow but Midhurst ran in worthy winners, although the score lie did not reflect the game.
TEAM: Evans T, Ralph, Goatcher F, Grimsey, Hazelton, Hunter, Bayly, Willis, Keylock, Burdett, Sandford, Riley, Jones S, Weston, Thewlis, Maxfield, Macnay, Silver.