Dominant H&B move eight points clear

Joe Umpleby was among the tryscorers during Hastings & Bexhill's victory over Vigo.
Joe Umpleby was among the tryscorers during Hastings & Bexhill's victory over Vigo.

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club inched a further point clear at the top of Kent One after a dominant victory on Saturday.

Fielding an unchanged starting XV from the previous weekend's convincing win at Beccehamian, H&B outplayed visitors Vigo in every department and thoroughly deserved their 34-3 victory.

Chaz Ackerley went over for the final try during H&B's 34-3 win.

Chaz Ackerley went over for the final try during H&B's 34-3 win.

The game kicked-off in cold but dry conditions and the excellent playing surface enabled the home side to play fast and open rugby.

Their continuous pressure on the Vigo defence resulted in a penalty try that was converted by Bruce Steadman to put H&B 7-0 up in the seventh minute.

From this point on there was really only one team in it, such was the intensity of the H&B attack. The forwards were feeding their well-marshaled backs great possession almost with ease.

Eliot Parry was sin-binned for retaliating to almost continuous provocation from the Vigo players, but even though they were down to 14 players for 10 minutes, H&B's dominance did not falter. Jake Stinson crossed the line on the right wing following an excellent phase of handling from the H&B backs.

On a rare visit into the home 22, Vigo were awarded a penalty which was kicked by their inside centre for their only score of the day.

Chaz Ackerley touched down on the left to round-off another good backs' move. Just before half time after a period of intense forward play, Joe Umpleby - one of the most effective players on the day - crossed the line for the bonus point fourth try, making the score 22-3 at the interval.

The second half started in much the same vein. Harry Walker scored the best try of the game with a move he started inside the H&B half.

Walker made a devastating break through the Vigo line and fed the ball to Ben Petty, who had replaced Ackerley at half time. Petty made good ground and released the full-back on a clear run to the line. The try was converted by Steadman with a well-struck kick.

The game went into a period of disrupted and confused play. There were several stoppages for injury, the worst of which was a horribly dislocated finger for Petty. Tom Vincent had to leave the field with a neck problem and one of the Vigo forwards suffered a leg injury; thankfully neither of these required further medical treatment.

Paul Sandeman, who had made a great contribution, was replaced by Chris Stern and Tony Roche came on for Steve McManus in the front row.

Ackerley was recalled to the fray as Petty went to hospital and he completed the scoring with a well-worked try in the centre.

Once again the H&B players had more than satisfactorily completed their job and given their management, coaches and supporters plenty to celebrate.

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