The Lions Hampered by Missing Players
There were just too many players missing from the Lions Team that had won the last two matches for the victory to be achieved in this match.
. Key players were either injured or required to work and therefore did not travel to Sussex and the Team were beaten by a Crowborough side extremely keen to earn the points to make their position safe in the London & South-East League 2 .
The forward pack was missing three important players in Wade Roberts, John Harrington and Gavin Elsam and it was in the forward game where, until this match, the basis for the successful games has been won . On this day the Lions did not achieve good results in the set scrums and only partial success in the line-outs . Thus the backs did not receive sufficient good ball with which to mount strong attacks, as has been possible in recent games.
Some of the line-out play went well and Ali Chamberlain took some clean catches and the backs did make some early ground. However, too little possession was gained in the tight and loose scrums and Crowborough had the upper hand for much of the first half . Illegal play by the Crowborough front row did cause their Captain and tight-head prop to be sent off but the Lions did not gain sufficient advantage from this position .
A missed tackle allowed Crowborough to score a try which was easily converted and Connor Moss countered with a well-struck penalty .
The Lions then suffered a blow when Luke Armstrong, who is such a dangerous attacking player, was tackled hard by the New Zealand centre for Crowborough and had to retire injured .
The score at Half-time was 7 – 3 to the Home side .
The Second half began much as the First, but Connor Moss kicked well from defence and the subsequent line-outs were contested . The pack made some good breaks and Jon Stone carried well before the rucks were formed . Too often, however, insufficient clean ball was gained to enable good attacks to be made .
After a line-out and drive by the Home pack in the Lions’ 22 metre area, a try was scored and converted . Soon after, with the Lions line again under pressure , handling in the scrum led to the award of a penalty try to Crowborough, which was again converted .
The Lions were not cowed, however, and after some spirited play a good break by the backs gave Ben Ebden the room and support outside to allow him to score a good try after a speedy run .
Thus the game ended with a win for Crowborough and a rather sombre feeling for the Lions .
Team: Ebden , Arron Moss, Armstrong, Michael (Capt), Thatcher, Connor Moss, Schofield, McGrath, Curd, Hanley, Stone, Hursey, Chamberlain, Ludwig, Hinkins . Parker, Tweed
Reporter David Storrie