LITTLEHAMPTON STILL UNBEATEN
Despite being in a good run of form and results Littlehampton knew that the visit of old local rivals Worthing would be no walk in the park.
In near perfect rugby conditions and with a good crowd starting to build in support the referee started the game. From the off Littlehampton showed their intent and took the game straight to Worthing and for 10 minutes completely dominated with almost constant possession with wave after wave of attacks trying to find that little weakness in the visitors defence…But it held strong, despite crossing the try line on 2 occasions the referee adjudged the ball to be held up so keeping the score at 0-0.
After repelling the onslaught of Littlehampton attacks Worthing find their feet and set about some attacking of their own, after a few failed attempts to break the deadlock they finally get over the line to open the scoring with a converted try 0-7.
Despite conceding the opening score Littlehampton still look the stronger team and back this up by hitting straight back to level the score when Craig Walters finds a gap in the Worthing backline running clear to score under the post’s also adding the extra’s 7-7.
More of the same soon follows when an overthrow ball by Worthing at a lineout is cleaned up by Scott Elliott, passing to Adam Grady who kicks through and gives chase …winning the foot race easily to score his first try for the club, conversion missed, but more forced errors soon allow Littlehampton to convert a penalty to open the lead up to 15-7.
Worthing, not willing to let the host’s walk clear are soon on the charge again and in quick time find themselves in striking distance of the Littlehampton defence proves up to the job holding them out until seconds from half time whistle when they manage to sneak over to make half time score 15-14.
After a couple of changes at half time Littlehampton hit the ground running and instantly steal the ball from Worthing at the tackle, Grady once again heads for a gap in the backline which seems to open up like the Red Sea and he takes full advantage to touch down his 2nd try of the game, Walters again adds the conversion to open the score up to 22-14.
With Grady starting to control the whole game from 10 he takes a free kick quickly, breaking again this time with Gavin Wood in support who takes off leading to some neat interplay between the backs which culminates with a final well timed pass from Matt Atkinson to release Will Hoare to make the final meters and run under the post’s to score another try- also converted. 29-14
Littlehampton now seem to be able to gain ground with ease with every possession soon finding themselves deep inside the Worthing half looking for more points but are hindered by a free kick against them, however the kick falls straight to Craig Walters who takes the ball across the gain line before another well timed offload sets Ben Best free to run the ball in for another try which Walters again converts. 36-14
Worthing still not letting their heads drop feel that they can still get a result from the game comeback out fighting and soon work their way into the Littlehampton half where they gain a numerical advantage after Bryan Newman collects a yellow card. With the penalty and extra man Worthing manage to cross the line for another converted try to close the gap to 15 points. 36-21
With 20 minutes to go , 1 man down and Worthing on the front foot having just scored, Littlehampton will need to work hard to not relinquish the lead they have built… but this fear is soon expelled when Ben Best collects a loose ball from the restart to again score under the post’s. Walters kicks again. 43-21
Still a man down, Littlehampton hit Worthing hard and soon score their 7th try, this time Matt Atkinson going in to get his first for the club. Walters takes his personal tally up to 20 points with another kick.
Now back up to full strength it’s only a matter of time before Worthing’s defence is breached again but despite being camped in the visitors 22 Littlehampton are kept out and worse still collect another yellow card.
The game is ended early after a Worthing player is injured while keeping another Littlehampton attack out and the game ends with Littlehampton having run in 7 tries (6 with converted) and a thoroughly dominant win moving them to 2nd in the league.
Next week host Norfolk Arms
Simmons ,Clarke, Newman, Pearson, Quinney, Keirle, Ritchie, Strange, Elliott, Grady, Hoare, Best, Funnell, Wood, Walters.
Subs all used, Bunce, Rose, Atkinson, Mathews.