Hastings & Bexhill triumph in high scoring home opener

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club achieved a bonus point victory in its first home game of the season.

After drawing 26-26 away to Park House the previous weekend, H&B triumphed 39-29 against Folkestone at Ark William Parker Academy on Saturday.

Hastings & Bexhill attack the Folkestone line at Ark William Parker Academy on Saturday. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Hastings & Bexhill attack the Folkestone line at Ark William Parker Academy on Saturday. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Folkestone scored four tries and played well, but hard work, superior fitness and some excellent play from the home backs gave H&B a convincing win.

See also: * Stunning Hastings & Bexhill comeback snatches draw
* Hastings & Bexhill all set for start of new season

The visitors scored a converted try almost from the kick-off, but Tom Waring, playing his first ever game at fly-half, reduced H&B’s deficit with a well-struck penalty. Folkestone increased their lead to 12-3 after only 20 minutes with an unconverted try.

It was time for H&B to up their game. Waring made a 20-metre run though the Folkestone defence and passed the ball out to winger Tim Sills, who ran in under the posts, leaving the fly-half with a straightforward conversion.

Waring took H&B into the lead with an outstanding try, gathering the ball on the 10-metre line and surging through the Folkestone backs to score under the posts before converting his own try. The visitors kicked a penalty to make the half time score 17-15.

The coaches brought on Roger Roberts and Tom Vincent during the interval, and their fresh legs helped H&B dominate the opening exchanges of the second half.

The ball was passed out to centre Chaz Ackerley, who made some good ground before putting winger Ben Campbell away to score a well-made try.

Waring stepped up to increase the lead and his kicking performance throughout the game was described as ‘peerless’ by one of the touchline aficionados.

Russell Reid crowned an impressive first XV debut with a well-executed try out wide to make the score 29-15.

H&B stretched their lead to 36-15 with a touchdown at the back of a driving pack by Frazer McManus and again the majestic Waring converted.

Ackerley was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on and Folkestone made the most of their man advantage by scoring two converted tries to narrow the gap before Waring stepped up to slot the last penalty.

With the third XV thrashing their Folkestone counterparts with an impressive display of attacking rugby on the adjacent pitch, this was a great day for H&B.

The first team, which sits fourth in the fledgling league table, will seek to continue its unbeaten start away to Old Williamsonians this coming Saturday.