Rugby: Chichester seconds lift Sussex Bowl

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Chichester seconds capped another excellent season with a great if hard-fought win against a top-notch Worthing second XV to lift the Sussex Bowl.

The early periods saw Worthing with a slight advantage and the Worthing No10 and Spartans fly-half Will Mitchell exchanged early penalties.

Worthing struck with the first try - a breakaway score from a Spartans knock-on saw them move into a 13-6 lead after Mitchell slotted another penalty shortly. There was a tough battle in the forwards and the front row of Corrigan, Lawrence and Davies scrummaged hard.

The young second rows Stride and Cavozzi were winning the majority of lineouts and the impressive Chi back row of O’Callaghan, 18-year-old Foulkes and Niall Goldie carried strongly and made plenty of tackles.

From a set-piece scrum, captain Scott Carter sliced through the midfield and after beating the 15 nicely put away the impressive Chichester man of the match Goldie. Will Mitchell slotted the conversion. Worthing answered with a quick penalty and then the Spartans did not gather a Worthing 22m restart - and the impressive Worthing winger sprinted 70m rounding four Chichester players to score.

This was the last impact the winger would have as he injured his hamstring.

Worthing led 21-13 at the break but coach Jimmy Taylor applauded the team’s first-half performance and encouraged them to keep plugging away.

The first score of the second half was always going to be important and Worthing scored a try instantly. The Spartans were shocked into a reaction. Mitchell continued his impressive kicking with another penalty, then a training-ground lineout move led to the gliding Tom Jackson chuck a no-look-inside-pass to Foulkes, who one-handed it on to Armah flying down the wing. Armah passed back inside to Jackson for a touchdown under the posts.

Chichester were back in it at 26-23.

The Spartans waited until the last ten minutes to score three tries and win the game.

For the first, the young pack trundles over from a driving maul ten metres out and veteran hooker Bobby Lawrence touched down.

In the 75th minute great phases of play saw the ball stretched right and then left with Henry Anscombe feeding Goldie on the wing to dot down for his second.

Worthing were piling on the pressure but when they tried to force the ball for an offload the ever-reliable Mitchell scooped up the dropped ball.

Everyone had a shocked look on their face when the 6ft 2in fly-half galloped in from 50m, and the roars were incredible when he then knocked the conversion over from the touchline to make it 40-26.

Chichester Spartans were exhausted, relieved and extremely happy to lift the cup again. Now a number of the team are waiting to see if their efforts earn them a call into the first XV for May 19’s Sussex Trophy final.

Blues director of rugby Paul Colley said: “This victory is testament to the hard work of a number of people who have brought through several talented colts into the twos this season, but in particular to Jimmy Taylor who has guided his charges to another outstanding season.”

CHICHESTER: Corrigan, Lawrence, Davies, Cavozzi, Stride, O’Callaghan, Foulkes, Goldie, Bond, Mitchell, Hutchinson, Carter, Jackson, Armah, Kirkpatrick. Subs: Woods, Ryan, Sandy, Gillings, Grace, Clarke, Anscombe.