Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club returned to league action with a hard-fought 15-8 victory away to Brockleians on Saturday.
H&B were always in control of their latest Kent One fixture, and tries from Elliot Parry and Mark Piotrowski helped clinched the win.
H&B’s team showed five changes from the previous weekend. Dan Elphick, Ryan Foord and Tom Pascall made valuable contributions from the start, and Rob McManus was as reliable as ever when he came off the bench for John Hanagarth after 55 minutes.
Parry opened the scoring after six minutes. Tim Sills set up a ruck from which Jimmy Adams emerged with the ball to put scrum-half Parry away on a 20-metre run to score a good try. Despite slipping as he ran up to kick the ball, Bruce Steadman converted to make the score 7-0.
Brockleians, who worked hard and had some big, tough men, kicked a penalty awarded for not releasing the ball on the ground only for Steadman to restore H&B’s seven-point advantage with a penalty for offside.
The game was hard work for both teams and mistakes were frequently made, many of which led to penalties. Calvin Crosby-Clarke gave away one too many and was yellow carded for persistent infringements shortly before half time.
H&B continued to dominate, but were unable to increase their lead until Piotrowski scored a hard-worked try. H&B’s forwards pressed the Brocks defence with a well-constructed penalty move and the number eight dived over for a well-deserved score.
Crosby-Clarke, who had played well, was replaced by Alex Waring after 60 minutes to give the pack fresh legs.
Brockleians narrowed the gap and achieved a losing bonus point with a well-executed and very sneaky try. A short throw to the front of the line put their burly prop away to make the final score 15-8.
H&B had ground out a win in a scrappy and, on occasions, bad tempered game and it should put them in a positive mood for next weekend’s home game against leaders Sheppey.
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