Haywards Heath's reward for overcoming Crawley in the Sussex Trophy is a home tie in the semi-finals.

Heath won 22-12 at Willougby Fields and now entertain Heathfield as they try to lift the trophy for the fifth successive years.

In the other semi East Grinstead, who came from 9-5 down to beat Hove 32-9, take on Worthing who were pushed all the way by the remaining Sussex League survivors Bognor. Both semis will take place on March 19. Heath had to wait until the second half before finally imposing their authority on a gutsy Crawley side.

A heavy pitch proved a great leveller and Crawley started strongly, going in front after eight minutes when their backs opened up Heath's defence allowing Richard Billings to score. Steve O'Reilly converted.

But Heath responded quickly when Andrew Cook attacked the blindside and gave a scoring pass to Henry Goodburn to run 30 metres before touching down.

Good forward pressure from both teams created a try for each before half-time. Crawley restored their lead through Guy Young, but Damian Lyall made it 12-10 and only stern defence kept Heath at bay in the closing stages of the first period.

It was a different story in the second half as Heath defended strongly and made the game safe. A forward drive allowed Dave Wattam to sprint over from close range and with ten minutes left Giles Goodburn charged down a kick, retrieved the loose ball and touched down under the posts. Owen Ashton added the conversion.

Heath skipper Henry Goodburn said: "Crawley really came at us in the first half which we expected. But in the second half we absorbed the pressure and started to gain the upper hand, but we definitely knew we had been in a game.

"Every team is out to beat us in this competition so Heathfield will be another tough one in the semis."

Eastbourne had no answer to an awesome performance from the Heathfield pack as they succumbed 25-12 at Cross-In-Hand. Trailing 15-0 at half-time, the visitors briefly threatened to stage a fightback when they scored two tries just after the interval. Wingers Gavin Partridge and Matt Bremer both crossed, the second try coming after a break at the base of the scrum by replacement No8 Andy Hebron.

Andrew Moore converted Bremer's score and then had an opportunity to level with a penalty. But Eastbourne opted to kick into the corner and although they won the line out they were repelled by some impressive Heathfield defence.

It just about summed up a frustrating afternoon for Eastbourne, but the home side deserve plenty of credit for their battling display.

A rolling maul after seven minutes resulted in a converted try and scrum half Mark de St Croix got his hands on the ball shortly before half-time after Heathfield had driven the visitors back over their own line from a five-metre scrum.

Richard Mills, who had slotted an earlier penalty, missed the conversion. Having snuffed out Eastbourne's rally, de St Croix made the game safe following another forward drive and they wrapped up the victory in similar fashion shortly afterwards with replacement Doug Foreman getting the scoring touch.

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