H&B slump to heaviest defeat

Rob McManus came close to a late consolation try for Hastings & Bexhill against Dartfordians
Rob McManus came close to a late consolation try for Hastings & Bexhill against Dartfordians

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club suffered its heaviest defeat of the season with a 68-10 loss away to second-placed Dartfordians on Saturday.

H&B conceded 42 points in the first half en route to a 14th consecutive London Three South East loss, which keeps them second-bottom of the standings.

A neat pop pass led to Dartfordians opening the scoring with an unconverted try. Darts then took the ball against the head at a scrum and the number eight ran blind before feeding the flanker to score a converted try, 12-0.

Harry Foster kicked a penalty from 40 metres to get H&B on the scoreboard only for the Dartfordians winger to go on a mazy run and score a converted try under the posts, 19-3.

Jacob McDonough was making good ground in the loose, but Darts stole the ball from a lineout and moved it wide to give the winger an easy run in under the posts. The conversion made it 26-3.

As always, H&B never stopped trying. Tim Sills stole the ball from a Darts kick ahead and outran the defence to score a converted try under the posts, 26-10.

Only strong Darts defence stopped a second H&B score and an H&B penalty just slid by the post. Darts then drove to the 22 and moved the ball out for the winger to run in his second try.

Despite pressuring the Dartfordians line for some time, H&B were unable to score and Darts closed out the first half with a converted try at the end of another good backs’ move, 42-10.

The early part of the second half was dominated by stoppages and strong play from H&B with a lot of time spent in the Dartfordians half.

H&B nearly scored from a drop goal and a five-metre scrum was well driven back by Darts. A minor scuffle between the two hookers saw them both sin-binned.

Yet another Darts back line move produced a converted try. Despite a trysaving tackle from Dom Sewell, the young Dartfordians fly-half scored his debut 1st XV try which he converted to make it 54-10.

Two more Darts tries followed before H&B came close late on. Rob McManus crossed the line, but the referee was unsighted and was unable to award the try.

H&B are without a fixture next weekend and the first of their three remaining games is away to Pulborough on Saturday March 21.

H&B: McDonough, Foord-Paton, Roche, Adams, R. McManus, Stern, Piotrowski, A. Waring, Steadman, Nichols, Sills, T. Waring, Ackerley, Parry, Foster. Replacements: Sewell, White.