Hellingly hammer St Francis 51-0 in Plate semi-final

M.O.M Paul Smith for ferocious work in the tight.
M.O.M Paul Smith for ferocious work in the tight.

To ensure that the game was played was nothing short of miraculous as once again Hellingly had to go in search of a pitch that was not under water.

At the 11th hour Brightons 3g pitch was secured and the game was able to go ahead at the appointed time.

Whether it was playing on such a fine surface or not I am unsure as after a short period of feeling out the opposition Hellingly unleashed a sequence of play that left St Francis clutching at thin air.

First it was Charlie Milner who scooped the ball up of his ankles before rounding his opposite number to score under the posts 7-0.

Then it was a linking move between forwards and backs before Dave Sands released James Grey for his first try 14-0.

The St Francis forwards tried to slow the game down and looked to kick for territory this enabled Ian Padget to collect and slice through the onrushing forwards and glide past the outstretched hands of the defence to score a 70mtre try and followed this with his own conversion 21-0.

Hellingly now alternated between driving mauls and fast open play in conditions that at times were blizzard like but drawing and passing released David Sands several times only for the overworked St Francis fullback to snuff out the breaks.

A relieving kick from St Francis was gathered by Huw Jones in midfield and spotting a gap no one else could see accelerated through the midfield before outpacing the winger on the outside for a spectacular individual score out wide 26-0.

It was then the turn of Sam Davies to collect the pass from the fast moving Grey to score under the posts 31-0.

With St Francis now on the rack the best move of the match saw the forwards drive from a line out on half way before releasing a backs move that saw each player draw his man and pass before Huw Jones benefited with his touch down on the opposite wing 36-0.

The halftime score became 41-0 with a typically robust effort from Charlie Milner which saw 2 hand offs and a score out wide for the completion of his brace.

The second half saw St Francis get a measure of control at set plays and Hellingly were unable to match their tempo of the first half although Grey got his second try from close work and Paul Smith completed a brutal second try as he took on and went through four St Francis players from a five yard penalty to bring the game to a premature close with the score at 51-0.

A return to league action this week in which Hellingly try to close the gap on the league leaders at Worthing.