RUGBY: St Francis book place in Sussex final

St Francis Rugby First Team December 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141220-110556004
St Francis Rugby First Team December 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141220-110556004

Sussex Plate semi-final

St Francis 17 Norfolk Arms 0

When Saints last met Norfolk Arms in their away league fixture they were without a number of key players and still drafting in new players for the season - they ended up getting a hiding and it has been a moment they haven’t forgotten.

Since back in October Saints have welcomed a plethora of new players including new scrum half William Ashfoed-Brown, utility back Christopher Zerafa, and Gerrar Maya.

The latter made a barnstorming comeback after being plagued with injury over the festive season. Further to this former players are now coming back with interest as the Saints continue to grow both in squad and confidence.

Games against Norfolk Arms are always lively and the match saw a lot of penalties awarded by the referee to both sides. It was a very physical game that saw the first half end with 0-0.

In the second half Warren Shortz broke through the intensely tough Arm’s defence to score his first of two tries while winger Alex Reid - who has had a fantastic season with the Saints - scored another try with a fantastic effort set up by the mercurial Maya at Outside centre. This effort was converted by John McShane.

Up front the Saints dominated with an awesome performance from Paul Sparkes, second rower Ryan Crawley (another new player settling into a great season with the Saints) and Jack Norrie.

It was a tough game as the conditions of the pitch deteriorated as did some players discipline but the Saints managed to hold out and see the game through without conceding one point.

The Saints will now play Shoreham in the Sussex Plate Cup final in April.

Meanwhile the Saints will now face Norfolk Arms again next week in a league fixture.