Horsham RFC confirm sixth place as Guildford are beaten

Horsham achieved their first ever league win 26-19 over Guildford, their nearest rivals in both distance and position in the London one south table.

The Green and Whites are sixth and the Surrey side fifth and with the top three of Camberley, London Welsh and Medway being promoted, and the fourth placed side Hammersmith & Fulham moving sideways into another league, both Horsham and Guildford will have high hopes for a successful season in 2022-23.

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This victory did secure Horsham’s highest league finish of sixth since they were promoted to London 1 South in 2019, with one game to play.

Action between Horsham and Guildford / Picture: DAS Sport Photography

Horsham started quickly and after three minutes following a driving maul with penalty advantage the ball was spun wide for Declan Nwachukwu to finish.

This was followed by a great try from Joe Blake following a turnover and well retained possession which was converted by Oli Chennell as Horsham took a 12-0 lead.

Guildford then came back in the second quarter with a try close to the posts after Horsham had conceded too many penalties.

Action between Horsham and Guildford / Picture: DAS Sport Photography

The visitors then added a second from a scrum push over to level the scores at 12-12 going in to half-time.

Horsham wrested back control in the second half with an excellent try scored from first phase scrum by Declan Nwachukwu for his 20th try of the season converted by Chennell. Blake then scored a great try from a first phase attack converted by Chennell to take a 26-12 lead after 67 minutes and secure a four try bonus point.

There was still time for Guildford to score a third try and secure a losing bonus point.

Horsham’s Head of Rugby Nick Stocker said after the game: “A good result in the final home game of the season between two strong sides played out in great spirit.

“With 5th place, pride at stake, and a big crowd, we were very pleased to secure a bonus point win scoring four great tries in the process.

“While we started the better, Guildford managed to get on top in the set piece in the first half which proved a conundrum that the boys did very well to resolve in the second half.

“Most notably the scrum which having conceded a push over try, formed the platform to launch our two tries in the second half.

“This in short epitomised the spirit in the team and how we’ve developed by sticking with the plan and not panicking if things aren’t initially going to plan.

“We always felt we offered more threat when in attack and this was clearly demonstrated by Declan’s second try coming from a great attack movement and Joe Blake’s solo effort at turning the defence inside out.

“These capped fine personal performances by these two and alongside Jordan Smith who was monumental and strong performances from Charles Newey, Taylor Morris and Elliot Powell, we once again struggled to name a man of the match.

“We ultimately settled on Henry Warwick for a great performance at 15 where his surety under the high ball, counter attacking threat and kicking game was excellent throughout.

“This week we have our final game of the season in a rearranged fixture against KCS.

“Regardless, we have finished sixth in the league which is an improvement on the last full season played and with such a young side, are already looking forward to the potential that they bring.”