Uckfield run in seven tries to record victory

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Uckfield eventually won an up and down game against Hastings and Bexhill in London South East Three last Saturday.

Uckfield first XV welcomed Hastings and Bexhill to Hempstead Fields probably expecting to reverse a losing streak of three games against a side who had only won one league game previously this season, and that against so far pointless Lewes.

After the torrential rain of the week before, the pitch was wet under foot.

The first half began with URFC playing confidently, and showing some of their best running rugby of the season so far. Sharp movement and strong support saw the first try scored by Gareth Quay, quickly followed by another from Ryan Teager.

Both conversions were missed which was to become a pattern for the afternoon. The Uckfield Express Lee Evans was then put in space and showed his class by jinking in and then out to score a classy effort out wide.

Stand-off Darren Clarke followed this up by bulldozing his way over from 5 metres and the home side were 20-0 up after 20 minutes, with no conversions made.

URFC then probably relaxed a little and to their credit Hastings came back very strongly, using their strong forward pack to score a pushover try, and then another from what was looking like an impressive forward display. More points followed and the half time score of 20-19 was not what was expected after the first quarter.

The home side started the second half much more positively, with Martin Chappell running strongly, but were badly handicapped by losing unsung hero of the season so far, Steven Hartfield, to suspected broken ribs.

This however allowed Liam Olive on for his first game at this level this year, and he showed the commitment needed in a good display.

Huw Jenkins carried the ball strongly and some great defensive work and good off-loading helped Uckfield stretch the lead with tries from Matt Evans and a second for his brother Lee.

Harle and Quay had a strong influence and tightened up the defence. The final try from Yaffe confirmed the victory, despite a further try and conversion from H+B.

This was a strongly contested game, which finished 35-26 to the home side. URFC will be pleased with the victory and scoring seven tries. All the conversions however were missed, and although several were difficult and most missed by a narrow margin, the kickers will need to find new boots for the rest of the season! Uckfield move up to sixth and will have an interesting test against Pulborough away on Saturday.