Thrilling Encounter for the 1's vs Uckfield
By Luke Stewart
EG1 narrowly miss out to top of the table Uckfield
After a disappointing loss on the road against Uckfield earlier in the season, the G's were jeered up to right their wrongs. Injuries and absenteeism from across the squads pinched selection this week, however the 1XV fielded on Saturday showed the strength in depth this club has (even if Fin had to play most his rugby at 10 for the 2's on Saturday and then run onto the 1st team pitch to finish off his afternoon at 9 for the 1's). We also had Leggat, naturally a 6 playing at 12 and Bridges who has been featuring at lock this season now in the 8 shirt. Despite players out of position, they all rose to the challenge and executed their roles impeccably.
There were a number of exciting returns to the 1XV squad also, with Skipworth and Funnell both returning after a lengthened period of time away from the 1's. Skipworth put in an impressive 80 minutes both in attack and defence, putting in big hits, being safe under the high ball and making powerful runs (Skipworth celebrated after the match: "I've now played 81 minutes this season!!"). Funnell came on as a finisher after Beanland had to be aided off after an almighty shift, especially in the scrums, turning Uckfield over on a number of times. Funnell looked back at home on the pitch, scrummaging as well as Beanland and playing a pivotal role in defence.
G's were dominant for most the game, maintaining most the possession, however unfortunately their only points came from two penalty kicks by Cooke. A disallowed try, with Dodd supposedly offside from a expertly placed kick by Cooke in the corner, arguably preventing the much needed breakthrough G's needed to assert their dominance on the game.
Despite not capitalising on the scoreboard, as S. Morgan put it "the defensive effort in the midfield was inspiring". Although the G's didn't get over the whitewash themselves, they snuffed out most of Uckfield's phases of attack. After Herculean efforts in defence by everyone (even Cooke made his tackles!), the boys were able to at least secure themselves a losing bonus point to consolidate for not being able to secure the win.
With 100's of people at the club on Saturday, not a single one could doubt the performance and the excitement going forward. With the G's current form, in the upcoming weeks, the opposition will be stunned, and won't know what's hit them. Expect to see big W's coming very soon.
Final Score: 6-13 Uckfield