Shoreham Academy Rugby Team Win County Cup
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Under 14's triumph in close contest
Shoreham Academy under 14’s are now officially the best state school rugby team in Sussex after winning the schools' County Cup beating Warden Park 10 - 8. It was a closely fought contest, held at Brighton RFC on a rain soaked pitch with Warden Park in navy blue. Warden Park took the impetus with early pressure which resulted in a penalty that was dually converted by Warden Parks fly-half Luke Minett. Shoreham Academy, in green and gold, responded with some aggressive running in the midfield by both George Clarke and Darren Locke who continually asked questions of Warden Park’s well drilled and brave defensive line. The pressure eventually told and Shoreham Academy’s George Clarke crossed the white wash for the game’s opening try. With the extras not been taken from the tee, the game lay poised as both teams strove to forge an opening in a two point game.
Warden Park started the second half the brighter and exerted some early pressure which resulted in a cultured number 8 pick-up from Ben Wright from a five meter scrum. The scrum resulted from a poorly gathered re-start and Warden Park took the lead.
This galvanised Shoreham took up almost permanent residence in the opposing half and continued to attack with wave after wave of confrontational and abrasive running. The attack included some deft kicking and mature game management from the mercurial Shoreham fly-half Ben Gale, whose distribution and steady nerve fed the three quarter line and heaped on relentless pressure on resolute Warden Park. The breakthrough came from George Thomas who managed to rip the ball from a rolling maul and head to the line for glory and a deserved lead, capitalising on the unseen and dogged work of the forward pack including the outstanding tight-head Sonny Pullen and imperious number 8 Jake Butler.
Shoreham withstood the last anxious few minutes of heavy attack before driving the ball in to touch to claim a truly historic victory. Sussex RFU President Dewi Vaughan was impressed with Shoreham Academy’s skill level and heralded the strong link with Shoreham Rugby Club as a major contributor to Shoreham Academy rugby success and fine example of how schools and clubs can work together to improve the standard of local rugby. Jim Coupe, Shoreham Academy principal, said ‘I am delighted that Shoreham Academy are now winning county wide trophies in addition to district titles. We are widely known for our football success and now making major marks with Rugby is great to see’. Shoreham Academy now go on to represent Sussex in the South East Regions competition, playing Kent, Surrey, and Hampshire.
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