Chichester rugby aces aim to finish best season with cup-final triumph

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Taking account of the level at which they are playing, this was a best-ever season for Chichester Rugby Club.

The first XV lost just four games, finishing third in London one south and narrowly missing a play-off for promotion to National three.

They play East Grinstead in the final of the Sussex Trophy at Brighton RFC this Saturday.

Fly-half and place-kicker Richard Adams scored a total of 278 points, including 20 tries. Hooker Robert Lawrence was the top try scorer with 23 in the league and two more in the semi-final of the trophy.

The forwards were especially strong and didn’t meet a better unit. Led by Moses Kasujja, team spirit was high throughout the campaign and the best performances were the 33-14 defeat of London Irish Amateur and the 51-13 win at Beckenham.

Wins over Dover, Haywards Heath and a double against Portsmouth were also enjoyed.

The points differential of 530 was second best to champions Tonbridge and Chichester had the best defence. They look forward to next season with high hopes.

The second XV won their league, composed of Hampshire second teams and one, Bournemouth, from Dorset. Bournemouth were the only side to beat them, and that was in the last match of the season.

Chichester also won the Sussex Bowl 47-21 against Lewes seconds in the final. Liam O’Hagan led them well and they underpinned the first XV, with several players making appearances at the higher level.

The third XV were successful, winning promotion to Sussex one, the fourths had a good season and the fifths played respectable social rugby

Chichester have appeared three times in the Sussex final with one win – against Hove two seasons ago.

They face a tough challenge from East Grinstead, who have also been very successful this season and would have been promoted but for a large points deduction following an abandoned game against Deal.

In the absence of rain for so long, the pitch will be bone-hard and running rugby is likely. A lot will depend on tactical decisions.

Both squads will be well-supported and Chichester are looking forward to a memorable day.

ROGER GOULD