Hastings & Bexhill win again to boost survival hopes

Forwards in conflict during Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club's victory at home to Bromley. Picture courtesy Peter Knight
Forwards in conflict during Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club's victory at home to Bromley. Picture courtesy Peter Knight

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club gave its survival hopes a further boost with a second successive victory.

H&B triumphed 17-6 at home to Bromley on Saturday, although they dropped a place to second-bottom of London Three South East because Park House secured a bonus point win.

The home side was in control right from the start and Bruce Steadman opened the scoring with a try after only two minutes.

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Throughout the game the backs combined well and this was the first of many attacking moves that caused problems for a very physical Bromley defence.

Roger Roberts increased the lead with a well-executed try under the posts following great work from the home pack. On a day when the crossfield wind made kicking something of a lottery, Tom Waring was successful with the straightforward conversion to put H&B 12-0 ahead.

Bromley came back with two penalties to make the half time score 12-6.

The second period was a very hard-fought affair. Isaac Wales had to leave the pitch with a shoulder injury and prop Tom Vincent was injured in an accidental collision with a team-mate.

H&B coach Ben Davies used his impact players well and the big forwards, who were working very hard, benefited from the rests provided by the rotation system.

A melee involving almost every player on the pitch resulted in four yellow cards - Waring and Dan Suggitt from H&B, and two Bromley players.

H&B continued to dominate play, with Archie Ridpath figuring in many of the backs’ moves that were giving wingers Jake Stinson and Tim Sills plenty of ball. Stinson crossed the whitewash to complete the scoring and give H&B a very satisfying win.

A fantastic performance on the pitch followed a very successful fundraising lunch in the clubhouse.

The club entertained Hastings’ Deputy Mayor James Bacon, sponsors, Sussex RFU officials, the Bromley committee and the Sussex Wooden Spoon to a fundraising lunch before the game.

Hastings residents Roger and Lesley Davies are participating in the LMAX Wooden Spoon Challenge to set a world record for the highest ever game of rugby.

They will set off in April to trek to the advanced base camp on Mount Everest to play two matches at over 6,500m.

A ball autographed by rugby legend Willie John McBride was auctioned to complete various fundraising activities during a very enjoyable and successful occasion. In total H&B raised £850 for the charity.

H&B will travel to Old Dunstonians this coming Saturday for another vital game in their fight to avoid relegation.

London Three South East bottom four (played-points): Bromley 17-34 (-32 points difference), Park House 16-32 (-80), HASTINGS & BEXHILL 17-31 (-77), Lewes 16-25 (-205).