It's cup final weekend for Haywards Heath after Hove are beaten

Haywards Heath reached the Bob Rogers Sussex Cup final with a 17-12 win over Hove at Whitemans Green.

It was a fantastic effort against a side who have been playing three divisions higher in London South West 2.

Heath were undaunted by the visitors but early on they gave up possession too easily. Hove worked their way into the Heath 22 and scored a try from their first trip to the red zone.

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Haywards Heath RFC's first XV who beat Hove to reach the county cup final

Heath lost a player to the bin for a no-arms tackle and then showed real resolution to hold the visitors at bay while a player down. On 34 minutes a scrum wide left just inside the Hove 10m line saw No8 Bobby Collins pick and go down the blind side where he was pulled down. Quick recycled ruck ball led to colt Jack Flower cutting a beautiful line through defenders before outpacing the cover to score. Tom Wharton added the extras to make it 7-7 before the break.

After the interval a penalty to Heath saw a quick tap and break from Evan Herbert and the ball went to Rob Ellis who was dragged down. But a clever offload found Euan Greaves-Smith who smashed his way over for a try. Wharton knocked the conversion over from out wide to make it 14-7.

Hove spent nearly 10 minutes camped in the home 22 but Heath held out.

Heath tacklers forced a penalty just inside the Hove 10m line which saw a Hove man shown yellow. Wharton slotted it for a lead of 17-7.

Hove scored another try to narrow the gap but the full-time whistle brought aroar from the home crowd.

The Bob Rogers final is against Horsham twos at Crawley RFC this Saturday (4pm).