Matches between Heathfield and Uckfield have a long tradition of being keenly contested and this followed that pattern but the home team eventually turned possession into points and ran out comfortable winners.
The first half was a poor spectacle in terms of flowing rugby as the two teams fought for control but were hampered by too many errors and penalties. The visitors soon had a man in the bin for taking out a supporting player at a lineout although Heathfield were unable to take advantage as Harry Reilly just missed a long range penalty. The home scrummage had an edge throughout the game. However the Uckfield lineout looked a good unit with plenty of variations and, especially in the first half, neither side dominated the breakdown. Most of the play at this stage was in the Uckfield half but on one of their rare breakouts they opened the scoring with a penalty (0-3). Then an Uckfield counterattack was just contained in the left hand corner and another long Reilly penalty attempt drifted wide.
Some firm words at the interval soon had the desired effect as the home side made effective use of the slight slope and breeze to build pressure in the visitors’ half, also playing the game at a more measured, less frantic pace. A tap penalty was taken on by Ollie Smith making good yards and then a fine long pass by Bryn Jones found Rob Fenner who still had plenty of work to do before finishing well in the right hand corner, Reilly converting impressively (7-3).
A few minutes later a long positional kick by Jones was adjudged to have been carried over by the Uckfield full back and from the resulting five metre scrummage Andy Noble was able to claim his first try for the club in league matches, again converted by Reilly (14-3).
The Uckfield number 8 was now binned for hands in the ruck following a team warning and as he had been carded earlier he took no further part in the game. Reilly extended Heathfield’s lead with the resulting penalty (17-3). Scoring was completed as a finely judged chip by Jones into the left hand corner saw Sam Goatcher touch down, again well converted by Reilly (24-3).
This week (27 Sep 3pm) Heathfield visit Hastings.