Chichester Colts took on old rivals Pulborough in a much-anticipated league and Sussex Cup double header following an excellent run of form in the National Cup - and were delighted to beat them 33-17.
The forwards swarmed up field with big Ed Grinsted carrying hard. Although the away side poured in from the side Iwan Munroe controlled well to burrow over for the first score. Tom Hutchin struck the conversion.
Alex Margarson was hitting good lines and the running of outside centre Dan Patterson was giving Pulborough anxious moments. Tom Hutchin came into the line well and the Blues attacked wide and Owen Seehawong showed speed from 30m out to beat the covering defence and power under the posts to help Chi to a 14-0 lead.
Pulborough clawed their way back and were building phases. With 20 minutes gone the Pulborough No8 broke blind from a scrum and poor defence down the narrow channel gave him an almost-free run into the line. An excellent conversion went over from wide.
The Blues brought on Luke Delacy and Elliot Quinten and with powerful surges from Quinten and Will Prior the home side started to apply the pressure but poor options with forwards hanging on to the ball when overlaps were on outside, and a couple of poor passes, killed some chances.
With Chi feet away from a try the away defence broke 60m down field only the pace and– the determination of Seehawong prevented the score but the black and whites recycled to score under the posts and make it 14-14
The Blues forced a penalty to lead 17-14 at halfway.
Chichester rang the changes with Charlie Constable back on after an early knock and Hamish Scott adding mobility and aggression in the second row.
The Blues upped the intensity and won another penalty to go 20-14 up but Pulborough responded with a penalty of their own.
Chi stuck to their guns with Joe Stirrup marshalling his troops and another penalty stretched the lead.
The last 15 showed how this team had come together: they were relentless, constantly chasing and pressurising.
Ned Renwick kicked intelligently and Dan Patterson, on at full-back picked up the loose ball and went on an electric run for a superb individual try.
Constable cut some great angles to create more quick ball and rounded the game off in style with a fantastic move as he came round the corner to outpace the cover and dive over in the corner for the final score clinching the bonus-point win.
Paul Colley, CRFC academy director, said: “What was really pleasing was the work we have put in on the training paddock really came to the fore as we broke down a very resilient opposition.”
MoM was Patterson, followed by Prior and Margarson.
This week Chichester take on Wescliff at home in the SW-SE quarter-final with the winner progressing into the last eight of the national colts’ plate.
CHICHESTER: Prior, Munroe, Rugman, Grinsted, Fitzmaurice, Crosby-Wilshire, Adlington, Constable, Stirrup, Grace, Gallimore, Margarson, Patterson, Seehawong, Hutchin, Brereton, Delacy, Quenton, Ellis, Scott, Renwick, Spreckley.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking sports news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
Share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!