H&B continue climb up Sussex table

HASTINGS & Bexhill continued their climb in Division One of the Sussex Rugby League with a 53-7 defeat of Norfolk Arms.

Thursday, 6th November 2003, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:49 pm

The margin of H&B's latest victory wasn't quite as crushing as previous matches but taking into account the number of enforced changes it was similarly satisfying.

Norfolk Arms arrived at William Parker fresh from a narrow two-point defeat at unbeaten Horsham so to win in such relative comfort was cause for considerable contentment.

Assistant coach Rob Hamilton said: "I'm entirely satisfied particularly when you take into account the number of changes we had to make. It wasn't as convincing as the Pulborough performance but it was nonetheless a good performance in the context (of having five players unavailable). Norfolk Arms are better than Pulborough and I stand by what I said that we'd settle for any win at all but the replacements did very well."

Pivotal players of the calibre of Neil Redman, Martin Sheppard, Andy Hitch, Tony Roche and Seb Halligan were all missing but the replacements and, in particular, Danny Ralph stepped up to the plate in fine style.

Wing Ben Campbell set the tone with an early score but they had to wait awhile and defend resolutely before Roger Roberts went over for the second which was converted by Paul Sandeman.

The strong running scrum-half then added a penalty before Kit Claughton backed up well for the first of his two tries to leave H&B 20-0 to the good at the break.

The hosts still had to work hard in the second half but Paul Northen widened the gap further with the fourth try that was again underlined by the boot of Sandeman.

Claughton bagged another which was also converted before Sandeman and Ralph completed the scoring with his third try in two games before the battling visitors earned a consolation late on.

The result hoisted H&B above Burgess Hill to fourth in the table and meant they have now racked up over 200 points in their last four matches.

H&B visit unbeaten Horsham on Saturday November 8.