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Green and Whites lift Bob Rogers Cup for sixth time with victory over Hastings & Bexhill

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Horsham lifted the Bob Rogers Cup for a staggering sixth consecutive time on Saturday.

Despite a disjointed performance from Horsham against lower ranked league side Hastings & Bexhill, they eased to a 31-3 victory at East Grinstead.

Bob Rogers Cup Final - Apr 2019

Bob Rogers Cup Final – Apr 2019

The Green and Whites were able to rest several 1st XV regulars on the bench and they also had to deal with blustery conditions which didn’t help Horsham’s fluency with a much changed side.

Nevertheless, the victory was a comfortable one as they once again lifted the silverware which has very much become at home at Horsham.

Head coach Nick Stocker said: “The performance did not reach the heights that we have seen in recent weeks.

“After the emotional high of securing promotion two weeks ago, multiple changes and, more disappointingly, a possible touch of complacency meant we only managed to deliver a spluttering performance.

“In the face of a motivated Hastings & Bexhill side playing in their first Bob Rogers Cup final, we did not look after the ball enough, were not smart in the use of the ball and lacked some physicality at the breakdown and in the tackle.

“That said, on those occasions that we did look after the ball, and went through some phases, we scored good tries and ultimately this was the difference between both sides – our ability to convert opportunities presented.

“Regardless of the performance, it was a great way to end the season – securing the Bob Rogers Cup for a sixth successive time on top of promotion to London 1.

“With promotion, our first team will not be eligible to defend the trophy next season with the Lions now needing to step up to do the honours. If their performance at London Irish is anything to go by, they will surely do the club proud next year.”

Horsham led after three minutes when Aaron Linfield broke after a turnover ball and Mathieu Pecharman was in support to score, Joe Wilde, on kicking duties, added the extras.

Wilde then put over a penalty, before Bexhill & Hastings hit back with one of their own on 23 minutes.

Pecharman then finished off a multiple-phases move for a converted try and Jonny Whiting also scored before half-time to give Horsham a 19-3 lead.

Hastings missed two penalties at the start of the second half and Horsham rung the replacements before they scored again on 65 minutes through Josh Earle.

Jordan Bell then wrapped things up from a quick tap penalty with Wilde adding the extras.

Horsham: Earle (N.Bell 66), Powell (Fairs 50), Barber, Clarkson (Osgood 50), Goward, Smith, O’Rahilly, Whiting, Linfield (Johnson 40), J.Bell, Pecharman (Bebiano 66), Ordidge, Wilde, Condon (Nwachukwu 60), Watts.

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Green and Whites set for ‘journey into the unknown’

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Horsham all set for ‘journey into the unknown’ after learning of their London 1 South fixtures.

The league fixtures have been announced for the 2019-20 season following the club’s promotion to a division which is the highest level they have ever played.

The Green and Whites have the opportunity to rekindle an old rivalry by travelling in their first game to Chichester on September 7 – a fixture that has not been played for over 20 years. Horsham then host Beckenham, the other promoted side from London 2 South East, who did the double over the Green and Whites last season, followed by a trip to HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) based in the City of London, who have 
had a lateral transfer from London 1 North, due to promotions and relegations around them.

September is completed by Horsham hosting Cobham which is believed to be the first competitive fixture between the clubs despite being just the short journey over the border into Surrey.

Horsham vice chairman Richard Ordidge said: “We will be facing a lot of the clubs for the first time, so this is very much a journey into the unknown.

“But given the way we finished the last campaign we are optimistic about our prospects and carrying this form into the new season.”

Pre-season friendlies have been arranged against Brighton, Haywards Heath and Worthing Raiders starting on August 17.

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Pulborough under-18 girls are crowned champions of England again

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Pulborough under-18 girls have shown once again they are at the pinnacle of rugby by being crowned the champions of England.

The young team have secured the RFU U18 National Cup for the second successive season.

It is the third time in four years that the formidable Freelands outfit have won the competition; previously achieving glory in the 2015-16 season as well.

For their latest triumph they beat a strong Mansfield opponent 25-15 in a tense final held at Premiership side Worcester’s Six Ways Stadium at the start of the month.

The match was played in front of a large crowd swelled by Pulborough supporters including chairman Alan Nye.

Despite their rich history in the competition, this proved the toughest encounter.

Losing 10-5 at half-time, Pulborough had to dig deep but came back in the second half to score three tries whereas Mansfield put down just one – which meant the ‘Borough girls completed a superb turnaround to secure the win.

Head of the ladies and girls’ section at Pulborough, Keith Woodcock, said: “The entire Pulborough club family are immensely proud of the squad of some 34 girls who have trained hard all year.

“They were greeted back at their home club by a jubilant crowd who formed a guard of honour as they got off the bus, weary, but still smiling at what they had achieved 24 hours earlier.

“Having seen some of these girls since they were under-13s it is amazing how they have matured into skilled and tough rugby players, capable of displaying tremendous fighting team spirit when they were 10-0 in the first half of the final to finally win the day”.

The team is coached by John Breach, father of Red Rose player Jess Breach – herself a former Pulborough player, Kelly Russell and Keith Beckley and managed by Steve Summers.

They added: “We couldn’t be more proud of every single one of the girls, not just the 22 who contested the final on the day, but also the other 10 plus members of the under-18 squad who played their part in getting the team to the final.”

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Horsham Rugby Club gets 3 more years of support from sponsor

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Horsham Rugby Club has announced the renewal of its main sponsor for a further three years.

Sussex-based home builder Thakeham will display its distinctive black and white lion branding on new rugby shirts to be worn by the 1st XV, 2nd XV and every mini age group from under seven up to under 12.

Thakeham, with its head office in Billingshurst, has already been a sponsor at the club for a number of years. The construction group is one of the South East’s fastest growing developers.

Last year, Thakeham was acknowledged with a place in the ‘The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100’ list. This prestigious league table ranks Britain’s 100 fastest-growing companies over the last three years and is published in the Sunday Times each December.

| READ MORE: Horsham church celebrates 125th anniversary |

Thakeham is actively engaged with local charities and promotes opportunities for former armed forces veterans. Thakeham also sponsors other community sports teams including Billingshurst Cricket Club.

Robert Boughton, Thakeham group managing director, said: “As a regional home builder, we know all about the importance of thriving local communities. Sports teams play an important part in building and maintaining the fabric of those communities.

“That’s why we are so pleased to support Horsham Rugby Club and be the club’s main sponsor for the next three years.”

Horsham RUFC plays their home games at Coolhurst Ground, Hammerpond Road, Horsham, and currently has 400 playing members ranging from Under 7 to three Senior (adult) teams.

The 1st XV rugby team has won the Bob Rogers Sussex Cup six years in succession and secured promotion via a play-off to the highest level in the club’s history.

The 2019-20 season will see the 1st XV team play in London 1 South, the Lions 2nd XV cross county lines to play in the Surrey Premiership and the Barbarians 3rd XV play in Sussex 3.

Nick Stocker will continue as head coach assisted by Richard Bell, Adam Halsey and Johnny Porter.

Horsham Rugby Club’s vice-chairman and commercial manager Richard Ordidge said: “We are delighted to announce that Thakeham will remain as the main sponsor of Horsham Rugby Club for the next three years during a period of unrivalled success for the club.

“Sponsorship is vital to the club; it helps us fund the maintenance and improvement of our facilities, which is essential as we strive to run a successful and well thought of rugby club.

“We have a strong responsibility to our members and are keen to attract local talent of all ages.”

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