H&B aiming to make it a double

The Beeney family receive their award at Hastings & Bexhill's presentation night alongside club president Roy Wake. Picture courtesy Peter Knight
The Beeney family receive their award at Hastings & Bexhill's presentation night alongside club president Roy Wake. Picture courtesy Peter Knight

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club will be aiming to complete a league and cup double today (Saturday).

The Kent One champions will take on Burgess Hill in the Sussex Shield final at East Grinstead RFC. Kick-off is 12noon.

The game has been a long time coming as it’s now five weeks since H&B played their most recent match, the semi-final away to Hove II.

H&B finished 10 points clear at the top of their league with 20 wins from 22 fixtures, their only two defeats coming away from home.

They have already beaten Sussex One outfit Burgess Hill once this season, albeit only narrowly. A last gasp Chaz Ackerley try gave H&B a 29-23 home win in a London & SE Junior Vase quarter-final.

H&B celebrated a memorable season, meanwhile, with a dinner dance at Azur in St Leonards last Saturday.

Attended by more than 150 members, sponsors and friends of the club, the evening started with a three-course meal and concluded with dancing to local cover band Redwood.

After the meal, Peter Knight unveiled a Gloucester RFC shirt autographed by England player Jonny May in memory of Harley Simpson.

Steve Beeney and family, landlords of Ye Olde Pumphouse, were given a special award in memory of Steve’s late wife Dee, who had sponsored the club for more than 20 years.

Club president Roy Wake hosted the presentation of awards to the players and volunteers who have been integral to the club’s success throughout the 2016/17 season.

The team captains presented awards to players who have performed with distinction during the last year. Tim Sills received the Danny Ralph Trophy as top tryscorer in the first XV.

The Redman Cup was presented to John Hanagarth, Harry Walker and Tom Waring for representing Sussex.

The Tom Howe Award for the spirit of rugby was given to second XV skipper Chris Pillow, the chairman’s award, presented by sponsors HPS, went to fixture secretary Bob Meager and the David Northen Shield was presented by Paul Northen to long-serving first XV player Anthony Roche.

On completion of the ceremony, Wake thanked Cinnamon McManus for organising the evening and wished the first XV success in their Sussex Shield final.