Ports play in Sussex Junior Bowl Final

Luke Loving-Price made his 20th appearance. Picture: submittedLuke Loving-Price made his 20th appearance. Picture: submitted
Luke Loving-Price made his 20th appearance. Picture: submitted
St Leonards Cinque Ports travelled to Burgess Hill to compete for their first potential trophy of the year as part of a triangular Sussex Junior Bowl Final.

Ports had a sizeable squad, including the return of club stalwarts Rob Mayer. Dale Whittington and debutants Anthony Glasper and James Woodward.

It was also a 200th appearance for head coach Luke Loving-Price.

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The first game against Worthing started well, Mickey Scriven was hauled down close to the line and Mike Hutchins was unlucky to not to finish after his long kick and chase. Loving-Price and Whittington were also prominent at the breakdown disrupting Worthing ball. Ports broke the deadlock with some quick footwork by scrum-half Ellis Ridgway and his delayed pass gave Scriven the space to run over. Henry Hill slotted the conversion. Ports were dominant at this point and the forwards were in control typified by Chris Perry and Adam Bigg. It was the backs who scored the next though, with a string of fine passes finding Murray Warman in space. Hill added the extras. The second half saw Ports playing up the sizeable slope. A number of penalties put them under pressure but great work by Bigg and Perry meant that Worthing only found their way over once.

Ports went into the second game knowing a victory would ensure the cup came back to St Leonards but an early Burgess Hill try put them on the back foot. The game hung on a few moments, Josh Burt was unlucky not to score after a clever pass by Loving-Price, and Warman was millimetres away from an interception. Burgess Hill added additional tries in the second half that gave the game a sheen. Worthing sealed an unlikely win with a last second try. A number of Ports players shared in the glory having played for Worthing on the day. Gray Harriot, Gavin Thomas, Gaz Rylatt, Glasper and Loving-Price all having a hand in the win.

Loving-Price said: “We are disappointed, we did well to win a game but we had more in us. That’s a measure of us as a team. There’s always more in us, and we always want to be better”.

A number of performances stood out. Loving-Price himself hit every ruck and was a willing-runner throughout. Bigg was a disruptive presence and turned over a number of balls throughout but E-Heat Man of the match was Chris Perry, who brought a massive physical presence throughout the game.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​