Heathfield beat East Grinstead in RFU Colts Cup
Heathfield Colts eventually overcame East Grinstead 17-12 in an entertaining contest in the RFU Colts Cup in almost ideal conditions in front of a decent crowd.
The first few minutes were characterised by some over enthusiastic play and inevitable mistakes by both sides.
However a Harry Slinn-Hawkins break followed by a Tom Samuel quick tap led to a kickable penalty and Harry Westgate duly opened the scoring (3-0).
East Grinstead immediately charged back with a period of pressure and it took a fine piece of jackaling by Oliver Wigman near the home try line to repel them.
Just before the end of the first quarter Jack Pincus in midfield intercepted and had adequate pace to canter home under the posts. Westgate duly converted (10-0).
With about five minutes remaining in the half Heathfield secured another penalty opportunity but the kick slipped wide.
The half ended with a period of East Grinstead pressure into the left hand corner but a final chance was ruined when their kick to the corner went dead.
After ten minutes of the second half Slinn-Hawkins scored a fine individual try as he received good scrum ball in midfield, beat the first tackler, chipped ahead to regather and slide over for what looked like a decisive lead.
However the visitors replied almost immediately with a try from some good offloading down the left hand touchline although the conversion failed.
Zak Dunn went close with an individual effort but the referee adjudged that he had knocked on just short.
East Grinstead immediately came back with some excellent handling in broken play and their hooker collected a fine individual try from some way out to leave a tantalising 17-12 scoreline.
The last fifteen minutes of the game were mostly in the visitors 22 as the home side pressed for the clinching score.
The home scrum was now ascendant and the visitors’ attacks had become predictable.
Slinn-Hawkins now produced another piece of skill to open up the visiting defence but unfortunately his exuberance in the dead ball area went too far (in more than one way) so no try was scored.
However the home side saw out the remaining minutes without further alarm.
Ronan Osborne was named Man of the Match for his all-round work in the lineout and at the breakdown.