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Horsham come from behind to take enthralling victory



Horsham moved into the top half of London 1 South on points difference, with their fourth successive win, after an epic 33-26 away victory to complete the double over Cobham, in a pulsating game of rugby.

The Green and Whites came back from 26-12 down in an amazing comeback scoring three converted tries without reply.

It was Horsham’s most significant win of the season so far against a Cobham side who were on a seven-match unbeaten run stretching back to October.

The kicking at goal was to prove a major difference between the sides with the Cobham kicker missing all four of his conversion attempts whereas Harrison Sims converted four of the five tries Horsham scored.

Horsham started slowly and after seven minutes were 6-0 down after two successful Cobham kicks at goal.

But, against the run of play, Declan Nwachukwu, on the counter attack from a dropped ball, made a powerful break up the left wing shrugging off several defenders and as he was tackled offloaded to Josh Steggles to score.

Cobham responded with a good try from a driving line out which they spun wide with great handling to restore an 11-5 lead.

Good controlled rugby saw Jonny Goward score from a pick and go which was converted for Horsham to take an unlikely 12-11 lead.

A series of errors from Horsham saw Cobham score three tries in quick succession and the Green and Whites found themselves 26-12 down.

The fight back then started. Vince Everitt was the first to pounce on a loose ball to score from a messy line-out. With pressure building Everitt scored his second after several phase of attack and, with both tries converted, after 56 minutes Horsham had levelled the scores at 26-26.

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And it was Horsham who found the quality to breach the home defence following a line out with a well worked backs move and a delayed pass from Johnny Ordidge to send through Marcus Condon to score and seal a remarkable win.

Green and Whites head coach Nick Stocker said: “A pleasing result against the form team in the league who have taken points off the top three at home over recent weeks.

“We were a long way from our best but with disruptions ahead of kick off due to injuries sustained in the warm up and early reshuffling in the pack, this was understandable.

“The guys also got frustrated early doors with some scrum interpretations and forced play needlessly granting field position to a dangerous Cobham side.

“This lead directly to two charge down tries and a cheap try from a poorly fielded kick all of which could have been avoided.

“Having fallen 26-12 behind I was very pleased with the spirit shown to fight their way back into the game and with Harrison Sims kicking well the extra points secured after each try allowed us to keep in touch and overall the lead.

“Next week we have a big home game against promotion hopefuls Medway. We tailed off at the end in the reverse fixture and it’s a great opportunity to gauge our progress since then.”

Horsham Lions also won 41-28 away at Cobham Seconds to remain top of the Surrey Premiership.

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Comeback kings Horsham record fifth successive win



Horsham came back from 0-13 down and then 12-21 down to scores two tries near the end to take a thrilling 27-21 home win over promotion challengers Medway on Saturday.

This was the Green and White’s fifth successive win and the first victory over Medway in their history and the accomplishment was clear at the final whistle on the faces of the players, coaching team and supporters.

Horsham started slowly and were conceding penalties at the breakdown with Medway dominant.

The visitors slotted two kicks at goal, and when they scored a converted try the visitors led 13-0 after 13 minutes.

The hosts were living off scraps but they kicked a penalty to the corner, and from the ensuing catch and drive and subsequent recycle Ciaran Preston drove over to score.

The Green and Whites were more settled now and Joe Notter spotted a mismatch to glide between two props for a fine try which was converted by Harrison Sims to narrow the deficit after 29 minutes to 12-13.

Medway kicked a penalty and went into half-time leading 12-16.

The visitors started the second half strongly. They scored a try from a break in midfield and a missed tackle out wide to lead 12-21.

But then the fightback started. Following the award of a penalty, which was successfully kicked by Sims, Preston showed an amazing turn of the pace to accelerate away from the Medway defenders to make a break of 40 metres, and following a penalty at the breakdown in front of the posts, Horsham chose to take a scrum knowing that they needed tries to win.

At the scrum the Green and Whites drove Medway back to see Vince Everitt pick up and drive over to score his sixth try in three games.

With the try converted by Sims, Horsham led for the first time in the game 22-21.

This was followed by a Notter break. The ball made its way to Sims who glided through the gap to finish well and secure the fourth try bonus point.

With the kick unconverted the Green and Whites led 27-21 and had to show some resolute defence to hold out repeated Medway attacks, incurring a yellow card to Will Grief, and showed outstanding effort to hold out to secure the win.

Horsham head coach Nick Stocker said: “A very pleasing five point win against one of the league’s top sides. Medway have been perennial challengers for this league title and are a fine side.

“We knew it would be a very tough day at the office but similarly, knew we had the game to beat them at our place given the game at theirs earlier in the season.

“We started slowly and our error count under pressure was too great conceding both field position and possession through the first quarter.

“However as we settled we started to look more dangerous and by half-time were right back in the fight.

“Our second half was excellent. Defence was solid. Set piece gradually more dominant and the attack shape started to expose gaps which our backs exploited.

“Our fourth try was a fine example of this and well finished by Harrison Sims who had a fine game following long term injury.

“Next up we visit old rivals Dartfordians who we know well and where the match is always hugely competitive.”

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Brilliant Breach sets Harlequins on way to 68-0 victory



Jess Breach and Heather Cowell wreaked havoc at Surrey Sports Park as Harlequins Women crushed Darlington Mowden Park Sharks 68-0 in the Tyrrells Premier 15.

West Sussex ace Breach, who played for Chichester and Pulborough as a junior, scored five tries and Cowell got four Quins ran riot in a 12-try home victory.

A sensational opening 20 minutes sent the hosts on their way as Breach registered a hat-trick and Cowell opened her account.

Khadidja Camara crossed before Cowell scored two more to give Quins a 37-0 lead at half-time. Breach got her fourth and then fifth before Cowell piled more misery on the visitors with another score.

And Quins were not finished there as Deborah McCormack and Sarah Beckett added their names to the scoresheet.

They are now top, three points ahead of Saracens who claimed an emphatic 48-26 win over Worcester Warriors at Sixways.

It was a memorable afternoon for prop Hannah Botterman as she helped herself to two tries while Poppy Cleall and MacKenzie Carson also struck twice.

Rachel Laqeretabua and Eloise Hayward grabbed the others as Sarries, who have a game in hand on Quins, celebrated an 11th straight victory.

But Worcester collected a bonus point thanks to a penalty try and scores from Vicky Laflin, Laura Keates and Sioned Harries.

Loughborough Lightning stay in third after scoring 12 unanswered tries in a 73-5 thrashing of bottom club Firwood Waterloo.

Mhairi Grieve gave hosts Waterloo an early lead but this proved to be a wake-up call for Loughborough who eased to victory.

Emily Scarratt, Bryony Field and Sarah Hunter all notched doubles with Morwenna Talling, Iona Antwis, Isla Alejandro, Katy Daley-McLean, Alex Baker and Ellen Ramsbottom also crossing.

Gloucester-Hartpury thumped Richmond 20-0 with all the points coming in a superb opening period.

Kelly Smith got the home side up and running after being put into space by Ceri Large who intercepted on halfway.

Mia Venner got Gloucester’s second try before Ellie Underwood dived over to put the hosts 15-0 in front.

When Natasha Hunt got the fourth on the half-hour mark Gloucester looked set for a big score against second-from-bottom Richmond.

But ill-discipline led to a scoreless second period.

Wasps followed up last week’s thrashing of Darlington with a 34-20 home win over Bristol Bears.

They did not have it all their own way as an Amber Reed penalty and a Sarah Bern try put Bristol 10-7 in front after Phoebe Murray’s early score.

Lucy Attwood also touched down after Harriet Millar-Mills and Tova Derk struck for Wasps. But three points from the boot of Hannah Edwards gave Wasps a 22-15 advantage at the interval.

Wasps extended their lead further when Claudia MacDonald pounced on a loose ball to score and then Liz Clarke crashed over.

But Bristol had the final say when Abbie Parsons went over in the closing two minutes.

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Cranleigh begin new year with away defeat



Cranleigh resumed Surrey 2 league duties at Old Wellingtonians on Saturday after a four week Christmas break.

Sadly the New Year gap wasn’t long enough to reduce the Cranes long injury list, and non-availability made selection very challenging.

However, the preparation on the day and the team spirit before the game was excellent.

Both teams looked rusty for the first 20 minutes and basic errors in passing and at the line out were plentiful.

It became apparent that the Wellingtonian pack had the better scrummage, however, and they started to dominate this crucial phase.

So much so that on 24 minutes they drove a scrum from the Cranleigh 22 to the line and scored from the base.

The successful conversion put Old Wellingtonians 7-0 up.

Cranleigh responded by putting their hosts under immediate pressure and good movement from the backs resulted in Joe Taylor going over under the posts.

It only took another two minutes, however, for Wellingtonians to restore their lead.

Their excellent fly half broke from the half way line to score, successfully converted his kick and leave the score 14-7 at half time.

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Another breakaway score was converted by the home team just two minutes into the second half.

This seemed to deflate the Cranleigh players and, with their front row struggling, it was difficult for them to create a base to play off.

Both sides were penalised heavily at the ruck and at 26 minutes, Wellingtonians were awarded a penalty on the Cranleigh 22 for holding on.

The successful kick made the score 24-7 to Old Wellingtonians.

By now both teams seemed low on ideas and stamina and that is how the score stayed to the final whistle.

The young Cranleigh backs fought hard but the lack of clean ball halted their progress in the end.

Cranleigh will look to re-build and rise to the challenge that Old Amplefordians present at home next week.

Cranleigh 2nd XV fell to a 15-36 home loss against Surrey Combination 1 South leaders Farnham 3rd XV on Saturday.

Jason Quick and Christian Morris were among the try scorers for the Cranes in a great game enjoyed by all and played in the right spirit.

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