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Warlingham defeated by Brighton in closely-fought game

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WARLINGHAM lost to league leaders Brighton last Saturday, but they put on a good show to push the high-flyers all the way.

In fact, Brighton would have been relieved to still be at the top after a closely-fought game in the winter sunshine.

A late try from Warlingham captain Zack King went unseen by the referee and the chance to share the spoils went begging, but a mammoth effort by the fiery home team in the final quarter earned them scant reward as Brighton persistently handled in the ruck to prevent Warlingham's progression.

In the early moments of the match, Warlingham took the game to their visitors with hooker James Delderfield putting in his trademark crunching tackles and centre Ben Wimble looking elusive with the ball in hand.

The early pressure put Brighton on the back foot and when No 8 Tom Street emerged from a rolling maul, Brighton had no answer to his pumping footwork and a try resulted. However, Kozminski failed with the conversion.

The Brighton back-line is renowned in this league as being a potent force and, after they took a quick penalty, the ball was shipped to the centre and they scored an easy, converted try under the posts.

The future looked ominous for the hosts as Brighton followed up with a second converted try after some boiler-room pressure was exerted on the Warlingham line.

After the break, Warlingham took control of the game but, for a short period when lock Luke Delderfield was harshly yellow-carded, the Warlingham pack looked wobbly.

A desperate kick out of defence fell to the dangerous Brighton back line, who showed their class by swiftly moving the ball to their right winger, who then outstripped the defence for an unconverted try in the corner.

From a scrappy melee on the halfway line, Wimble emerged with the ball and scampered 50 metres to score Warlingham's second try, which was then converted by fly-half Joe McEvoy.

Brighton were at sixes and sevens as flanker Dan Street and captain King drove forward with earnest desire, supported by the chirpy scrum-half Stephen Murtagh.

And new full-back Josh Williams earned his spurs with some fearsome tackles, while the Brighton back-line was nullified for the remainder of the second period.

McEvoy put in a booming 22-metre drop-out deep into the Brighton territory and Warlingham sensed the opportunity to strike back again.

However, both sides showed some frustration when Warlingham prop Scutt, along with a Brighton forward were yellow-carded.

In the final quarter, Warlingham camped on the visitors' line with Brighton determined to spoil any attack with cynical foul play that gave Warlingham several penalties but no further coloured cards or penalty tries.

Despite every player on the pitch, including the away side and all in attendance, accepting a King try had been scored, the referee declined the score and gave Warlingham yet another penalty.

Brighton were ecstatic at the final whistle and the four points that went with it, but Warlingham, who took the losing bonus point, would have felt rather hard done by.

Meanwhile, Warlingham's third XV beat Old Reigatians 28-19 in their match.

Tomorrow, the first XV travel to Sevenoaks for the last league game of the calendar year.

Warlingham defeated by Brighton in closely-fought game


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