MATCH REPORT – Horsham 1XV (8) v TWRFC 1XV (33)

Match Reporter – Fran Colangelo

On a dry day Wells the 1 hour trip to Horsham for one of their “local derbys”. When Horsham came to St Marks in September Wells won against the newly promoted side 45-14. A good crowd after their busiest lunch of the year was on hand to cheer both sides on.

Wells started on the front foot with some good attacks from Ben Whale and the backs getting in the game early but they couldn’t finish off what they created, partly by little mistakes and also by the determined way in which Horsham defended – especially the ruck area. Slowly Horsham got back in the game and their ability to run from anywhere and Wells giving away penalties saw them keep play deep in Wells half. 

After 10 mins, following another penalty, Horsham went to the corner and a clean catch and drive saw them go over for a deserved try and a 5-0 lead. This spurred Wells into action but they couldn’t get a foothold in the game with the quick defensive line of Horsham rattling them. The speed of ball from the hosts was led by their 9 keeping Wells on the back foot. Any attacking play from Wells met a wall of green and on 25 mins the hosts extended their lead with a penalty that bounced off the crossbar twice and over to go 8-0 up, which on the balance of play was a fair reflection.

Chapel Down Player of the Match – Dave Thornton

The next 15 mins was very broken play from both sides as we moved from set piece to set piece with no real threats. With the clock on zero the ref indicated 3 mins of injury time at the end of the half, and in what seemed like the visitors first real attack on the Horsham line the pick and drive went to plan and Ben Isbell went over for the try, converted by Ben Day. Horsham heads dropped as the half time whistle sounded with their lead whittled down to one point.

The Wells team talk at half time must have been good as they started the second half as they finished the first, cutting out their mistakes and putting pressure on the Horsham defence. Wells got a penalty on the 22 and went to the corner confident of scoring a try. The catch and drive followed fast hands to the corner where the quick feet of Angus Horne saw him go over with Ben Day slotting a big kick. Wells led for the first time 8-14. 2 minutes later Wells went over again. From the kick off they went through he phases to score their 3rd try as Harrison Chapman found the gap to go through. Another Day conversion and there was clear water in the scores at 8-21.

Wells were in the ascendency and big carry from Ben Whale, Dave Thornton, Nick Doherty and Jay Smith punched holes as Horsham’s defence tired. It was from a Thornton charge that that saw the ball moved to Max Hobbs in space and he took his opportunity well. The conversion went wide but Wells now had an unassailable lead of 8-26 going into the last 10 minutes.

Wells finished a very good second half performance with another assault on the Horsham line, this time Tom Webster scoring and Day adding the conversion. 8-33 was a good win against a dogged home side who have greatly improved from the earlier meeting.

This was a great way to end what has been a good year and sees Wells sitting 3rd and all to play for in 2024. Good luck to Horsham in the New Year – a great club and excellent hosts to the many Wells supporters.

Boxing Day sees our usual social fixture at St Mark’s – 11am k.o.

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