St Leonards Cinque Ports 73
Heathfield III 14
After two close defeats Ports faced a Heathfield team that travelled with only ten players. Ports loaned them Chris Challinor, Rob Fink and Mike Hutchins in the first half – the game being played 14 v 13.
Despite the clear numerical advantage Heathfield started brightly, tough tackling by Tom Monks and George Upton held them back. When Ports got on the front foot Murray Warman broke, he worked the ball to Luke Barningham who went over wide. He converted his own score.
Ports worked through the phases, from the Heathfield 22 metre line Monks rampaged forward and scored a try out of character for a prop forward. Barningham again converted.
Heathfield drove forward, the three Ports players all key in their rally. Matt Standen and Upton both worked hard at the breakdown. From a turnover made by Standen Ports broke away and Warman outran the defence to add a third try. The trusty boot of Barningham again bisected the posts.
From the kick-off the athletic Upton wriggled through defence. From the ruck Warman was fed again to dot down. Barningham slotting again.
Barningham kept his personal tally ticking over connecting well with Warman to score again. He again converted. Good support running by Upton allowed him to crash over, Barningham providing the extras.
Poor Ports discipline gave Heathfield territory, Hutchins pulled the strings and a penalty try got them off the mark. A second try converted by Hutchins gave them a healthy score at the break.
Jody Freeman, Matt Standen, Kim Wan and Gavin Thomas all made appearances for Heathfield in the second half.
Monks made a barnstorming run to start the second half, connecting well with Ross Kearney and Upton and unlucky not to see a score. Upton found a gap, and made his way over for his second. Barningham again converting.
Upton then run in his hat-trick from the kick-off. Henry Hill adding the extras.
Heathfield was tired and Ports found gaps, Kearney fed Barningham who juggled the ball and dived over in the corner.
Ports were now rampant. Monks, Ashley Mountain and Craig Barrowclough all made big runs. Upton again ran a support line to add a fourth try, before adding a fifth after scooping up a loose ball, Paul Smart converting and ending the game.
Smart captured the feeling of Ports post-match when he said: “We played an under strength Heathfield side, to whom we loaned players. But we had a job to do which we did effectively, without drama. I’m very proud of our attitude today.”
A number of players stood out, Upton with a haul of five tries was in devastating form, Barningham notched up 29 points for himself but E-Heat Man of the Match was the barnstorming Tom Monks. He carried well and made two lungbusting runs including a 25 metre rumble to score.
15 Hutchins 14 Whitehill-James 13 Warman 12 Standen (Kearney) 11 Barningham 10 Hill 9 Smart 1 Monks 2 Thomas (Barrowclough) 3 Wan (Giles) 4 Storey 5 Mountain 6 Perry 7 Upton 8 Ingram
Ports representing Heathfield: Freeman, Fink, Challinor