Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club confidently overcame another potential hiccup on their march towards the Kent One title.
H&B scored 26 points during the first half en route to a 38-13 victory away to Southwark Lancers on Saturday - their 16th win in 17 league games this season.
Southwark Lancers are a good, strong side at home and in the past have presented many problems for H&B.
The short and narrow pitch does not lend itself to H&B’s expansive style, but the visitors managed to score six good tries, such was their dominance.
Southwark opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty only for H&B to reply with the score of the match. Eliot Parry fed the ball to winger Ben Petty deep inside the away half, and the winger surged through the home forwards and skinned the full-back in a one-on-one chase to the line, touching down between the posts for Bruce Steadman to convert.
H&B skipper Jimmy Adams played especially well at the lineout and continuously disrupted the Lancers’ ball. In the 20th minute he robbed his opposite number at a five-metre throw in and crashed over the line for an opportunist try.
H&B continued to dominate with the forwards and backs linking well. Chaz Ackerley teed up Mark Piotrowski to score near the posts and Steadman converted to stretch the lead.
Lancers came back with a fortunate, but well-constructed try. Their backs took full advantage of what looked a forward pass and then had the speed to outrun the away defence.
Steadman was having a solid game at fly-half and passed the ball out for winger Jake Stinson to score the bonus point fourth try. Steadman converted to make the half time score 13-26.
H&B completely dominated the second half, but squandered several chances to build their lead by knocking on or dropping the ball at crucial moments.
Dominic Sewell, who played well in the second row, won the ball at a lineout and broke through the Lancers’ defence to put hooker Joe Umpleby clear for the fifth try.
Steadman capped an impressive performance with a good midfield break to put replacement winger Tim Sills away for a try which the fly-half converted to complete the scoring.
H&B: Vincent (Roche 60), Umpleby, S. McManus, Adams, Sewell, Sandeman, F. McManus, Piotrowski, Parry, Steadman, Claughton (Campbell 60), Petty, Ackerley, Stinson (Sills 60), Walker.
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