Depleted Lewes see off Seaford - it's all-square for Heathfield Ladies

Reports featuring Seaford, Lewes and Heathfield Ladies feature in this week's rugby-round. Reports all below...

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 5:30 pm
Lewes on the attack against Seaford / Picture: Danny Simpson

Seaford 7 Lewes 34

With half the players from last week’s matchday squad unavailable, it is to the great credit of Brandon Palmer and his coaching team that they were able to create a team shape and game plan that was going to pose problems for Seaford.

It was noticeable from the start that Lewes were determined to disrupt Seaford as much as possible and the back row were excellent with their tackling and work at the breakdown, which put Lewes on the front foot.

Sophie Saunders battles away for Heathfield Ladies against Tonbridge Juddians

There were some great individual performances from Lewes players and first to stand out was Andy Carmichael, whose dazzling run took him straight through the heart of the Seaford defence. Eventually he was pulled down close to the try line, but the back row provided quick ball for Angelo Errigo to score the first try.

Then Gus Taylor’s cheeky kick created chaos in the Seaford defence, which gave Elliot Moule the chance to score his fist try of the season, and it was 10-0 at half-time.

The second half did start with a Seaford score. If the previous Lewes try had been helped by a lucky bounce, this was reciprocated when a teasing kick fell right for the man in red with a straightforward conversion in front of the posts bringing the hosts back into the game at 7-10.

But this fired up the creative juices in the Lewes backs and another delightful Taylor kick produced another Moule touchdown.

The Lewes backs were really on the charge now and a great interchange of passes between Carmichael and Errigo led to the fly half going over for his second try.

With the conversion, the score was 7-22, and this fourth try secured Lewes their bonus point.

The coaches must have been pleased to see their efforts producing such effective results, but the best was to come when Lewes were awarded a penalty and set up an attacking line out.

The ball was caught and mauled, with Taylor spotting a wide gap on the blindside that he sprinted through to touch down in the corner.

His half back partner, Angelo Errigo, finished the game by waltzing through the sea of red shirts to joyously dot down his hat trick try that was converted by Ben Poole to give a final score of 7-34.

The last first-team game of 2021 is on December 18 at home to Hove twos (2pm).

Lewes seconds start the second stage of the season’s fixtures tomorrow away to Brighton Medics.

Heathfield Ladies 10 Tonbridge Ladies 10

Points were shared in this National Challenge one league game after an at-times fiercely, contested match between two contrasting sides.

Judds have a sizeable pack as their main strength while Heathfield rely on a more all-round game.

With the slight slope in their favour Heathfield had more of the game for much of the first half but the visitors’ defence proved adequate.

Amy Cook and Sam Crook both showed useful carries while Sophie Saunders (pictured) was tireless in defence. Leslie Coulter used her experience and skill at the base of the scrum to keep the Heathfield backs moving.

In the last moments of the half Becky Ford chipped over the defensive line and Ellie Wright was adjudged to have touched down in the corner.

Judds fancied their chances with the slope in their favour to come with their perceived physical advantage.

Heathfield started the second half strongly but were hit by a yellow card for Saunders for a high tackle.

Judds took advantage of the extra player and rumbled over for a try in the corner.

With just over ten minutes gone in the half they collected another try from a strong scrummage as their No8 charged over from short range in the corner.

Heathfield had the better of the rest of the game. Sammie Williams collected her first and hard-earned try in heavy traffic in the corner after repeated phases.

With ten minutes remaining and the scores level at 10-10 Heathfield pressure resulted in a penalty chance in front of the posts but missed it.

Heathfield never managed to move the ball wide enough, quickly enough, .

Heathfield now have a week off before visiting Blackheath II (Dec 19, 2pm).