Uckfield got their second win on the bounce last week when they visited a very determind Vigo side who are still yet to register a win this season.
Uckfield had eight first team regulars unavalable, four forwards and four backs, but as they found out last year, depth in positions is key to survive in the London leagues.
A large crowd gathered on a wintry day, fresh from a downpour 15 minutes before kick-off leaving underfoot conditions very sticky.
Vigo started much the stronger. Many big tackles from Uckfield players kept Vigo at bay with one superb last ditch tackle from winger Joe Miller putting his opposition’s big toe into touch saving a certain try. Credit to the home linesman who showed great integrity in signalling and Vigo were denied. Vigo kept pounding the Uckfield line but superb defence by the Acorns, notable Danny Hemsley and Greg Ward, kept the home side out.
Uckfield weathered the storm and an Ian Page-Mitchell mighty boot downfield releaved the pressure. Ryan Teager was first to react to the kick and continued to fly-hack to ball down the field. His footballing skills let him down five metres out, however, and Vigo got numbers back. They managed to retain the ball – illegally, however – and Toby Keogh slotted the penalty to make the score 3-0 to Uckfield.
Vigo missed another penalty kick, before Uckfield scored their first try. A seemingly innocuous kick by scrum half Jack Newcomb, was not dealt with by Vigo’s defenders and Ryan Teager claimed the ball in the air with one hand. Uckfield recycled the ball well, kept calm heads and eventually the ever-present Terry Funnell was driven over by his pack. Keogh added the extras.
Vigo did managed to score a well hit penalty on half time, making the score to 3-10 at the break.
Uckfield defended for about 35 minutes during the second period. Thunderous hits by No 8 Greg Ward, often causing Vigo’s runners to drop the ball, were lifting Uckfield morale. With fatigue starting to set in, due to the laws of physics, Uckfield’s small pack started to get pushed about by Vigo’s bigger pack. However, in the loose, Vigo were unable to get support to their big runners, allowing lightweights Steven Hartfield and Connor Diplock both turning over ball.
With full time looming, Vigo threw everything into attack. A wayward pass was snatched by Keogh who sped away all off 70 metres to touch down, despite the speedy Vigo winger almost catching him. Keogh missed the conversion.
Uckfield host Bromley on Saturday.
Uckfield: Page-Mitchell, Miller, Teager, Keogh, Charman, Ridley, Newcomb; Palmer, Caket (c), Diplock, Hartfield, Funnell, Williams, M Evans, Ward. Subs: Hemsley, Holman, L Evans.