Crawley gave a solid display in tough conditions against Hill.
First points went to Crawley from the boot of Alfie Spurgeon after a tough midfield forwards battle and a penalty infringement by the home side.
As Burgess Hill threw their all at the Crawley defence the visitor’s held strong with the centre partnership of Scott Patto and Ali Moffat proving to be an impenetrable wall but the constant pressure proved fruitful when it was Crawley’s turn to fall foul of the referees whistle and from the ensuing kick the score was levelled.
Both sides were defending well and breaks were far and few between and most amounted to nothing until Luke Wilson broke down the right wing breaking two tackles before being brought down just inches from the try line.
The afternoon was proving to be busy for the referee and both sides kickers as the conditions and pace of the game led to many mistakes from both sides and with a missed penalty shot apiece the half ended level with nothing to show between the sides.
Resuming the second half playing up the hill the visitors looked by far the fresher and the home side had lost some of the spring from their step. It was not long before Spurgeon was again watching his penalty kick fly towards the posts only to be denied points as it just went wide.
Another penalty for Burgess Hill and a forty metre shot at goal that just fell short, a clearance from Crawley and it was not many minutes before the boot of Spurgeon was again putting the ball between the posts to take the lead.
Burgess Hill came back firing on all cylinders and maintained control of the ball until they forced yet another infringement by Crawley and their kicker stepped up to level the game.
A couple of fruitless breaks through the backs were Crawley’s highlight for the rest of the half and as the home side dominated the scrum. Burgess Hill were unlucky to not go over for a try between the post a few minutes before time.
With the clock ticking into injury-time and Crawley pinned on their lines, the visitors once again fell afoul of the officials whistle. The home kicker stepped up for the penalty kick as the referee deemed it to be the last play of the match and with the game tied the pressure was on.
Both sides knew they had been in a battle and perhaps were content for the draw, but as the ball flew between the posts for the home win the emotion of the Crawley contingent was clearly visible.
Crawley: Theobald, Mansfield, Riley, Burt, Gosling, Dean, Morgan-Smith, Hall, Searle, Spurgeon, Patto, Moffat, Wilson, Bowen, Cockram, Eaton, Gilliat, Evans,
Crawley 2’s 15 Barns Green 18
In a close fought battle in which Crawley held the lead for much of the game, it was a last minute penalty try which saw Barns Green take the league points.