Seaford Have to Fight to the Final Whistle
By Richard Jones
Seaford hosted the semi-final of the RFU junior vase on Saturday for what was to be the clubs biggest ever occasion in competition history. With never getting past the quarter final stages before, the south coast giant killers now find themselves deserved
A very big and physical Billericay started hard and fast and for the first time this season gave the usually dominant Seaford scrum a run for its money. The visitors were 6 points up in 10 minutes from 2 penalties but Paul Hardwick kicked 3 points of his own to close the gap. Scott Voice went over in the corner 20 minutes in to the first half but was held up to be denied the score, Billericay again were awarded another penalty which also resulted in scrum half Hardwick being sent to the bin for 10 minutes. Seafords defence was more than up to the task even with one man off the pitch as a relentless barrage from the visitors went un-rewarded. With 14 men putting bodies on the line the Scarlets found themselves with a lineout 10 metres from the visitors try line. Billericay contested well at the front knocking the ball down to their prop at the front of the line, Hooker Steve Dann got hands on and a maul formed. Dann stripped the opposition of the ball for it to find the hands of Seafords Goliath second row Andrew Flynn, monster Flynn crashed over the line destroying every defender in his path.
At the break Seaford were 8-9 behind but It was now that Seaford were to start their comeback with Ben Cox going over for 5 points 10 minutes from the restart, Hardwick converts 15-9. Billericay responded 10 minutes later with yet another penalty and Seaford suffered another sin binning when Flanker Mike Upton saw yellow for a repeated offence. With only 10 minutes left in the game Billericay gave one last push which finally found a gap in the Seaford defence due to the loss of the extra man. At 15-19 and 5 minutes to go a place in the final looked like it had slipped away but Skipper Dan Newby had other plans, when a maul was set up 5 yards from glory it took a full 15 man shove to get over the line, Newby was the man to rise with the ball, Hardwick converted to give a 3 point lead and 1 minute to play.
In a moment of heart stopping drama Seaford gave away a penalty 20 metres out that the opposition opted to kick which would take the game to extra time, the kick went wide and Hardwick sent the ball into touch ending the match at 22-19.
Every man played out of their skin, notably Simon Hordell, the Flynn brothers, Sam Diplock, Scott Voice and Paul Hardwick but Man of the match went to Captain Newby.
Seaford faces Battersea in the regional final which a date and venue is yet to be decided. Progression sees the winner go to a southern England final that then heads to Twickenham for a north vs south grand final, the team wish to thank the 150+ supporters who came down and got behind the boys, your support is greatly appreciated.
Cup squad – J.Wilson, S.Dann, M.Read, S.Diplock, A.Flynn, M.Upton, T.Peissel, D.Newby (C + MOM), P.Hardwick, M.Tait, B.Cox, S.Hordell, D.Flynn, S.Voice, C.Burns, M.Cox, K.Lewis, J. Ashibende Price, D. Joy.