Midhurst’s first XV were disappointed by a comprehensive 23-3 Sussex division one defeat at Eastbourne.
Midhurst held solid in the first half and with the forwards powering in the scrum, the ball was released quickly.
Fine play from Windle, Hird and Warken allowed Midhurst to maintain play in Eastbourne’s half for the majority of the first half. But a few mistakes allowed Eastbourne to score and they finished the half 6-0 up.
The second half brought a great effort from Midhurst but injuries plagued them and a reshuffle was needed.
Eastbourne took advantage and pushed forward to score. Chandler did well in the lineouts and Bratley made a number of great tackles with Hounsell backing him up.
A great penalty from Adams put points on the board for Midhurst but after that, Eastbourne dominated the scrum and got through the gaps.
Horley II 48 Midhurst II 19
The spirit of rugby came alive as Midhurst seconds, decimated by injuries and lack of numbers, joined forces with seven players from Haslemere II to provide the hosts with some opposition and entertaining rugby.
Midhurst didn’t have two props so scrums were uncontested and they started with a ten-point deduction.
Danno May stole a lineout ball and charged through the lines setting the ball for Mike Morgan to run in the first try, which he duly converted.
Midhurst held strong for 20 minutes until a combination of giving away silly penalties, not keeping the ball in hand and the numbers game finally caught up.
Horley’s centres punched through Midhurst’s defence and without Chris West’s crunching tackles it could have been a rout.
Midhurst composed themselves after half-time and strong running from George Burdfield helped them score two more tries before the Horley onslaught began again.
Midhurst were guilty of sloppy rucking and missed tackles, relying on West to bail them out.
There were positives to be taken and the score did somewhat flatter Horley.
Midhurst captain Marcus Wells said: “It’s all about keeping the game alive.”
The seconds’ next league game is on October 20 at St Francis. More players are needed for the twos - all are welcome at training on Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm.