Hastings & Bexhill and Rye Rugby Clubs began the new season with home victories on Saturday.
H&B ran out convincing 45-0 winners against Old Gravesendians in Kent One, while Rye got the better of Brighton II 19-13 in Sussex One.
Max Foord-Paton dropped on the ball for the opening H&B try and after a series of pick-and-drives from the restart, Tom Waring’s powerful running led to a silky Dillon Newell try. Paul Sandeman converted both.
A second pushover try from a scrum five, again dropped on by Foord-Paton, a bonus-point fourth score by the excellent Ben Campbell, another by Ashley Diedericks with one Sandeman conversion made it 31-0 at half time.
After a nicely worked try from Newell converted by Sandeman made it 38-0, the scoring dried up until Mark Piotrowski robbed an OGs defensive lineout and was driven over on the final whistle.
A Joe Morrell try gave Rye a 5-0 lead, meanwhile, and although Brighton kicked a penalty, Ben Short’s score and a Matt Cooke coversion made it 12-3. Brighton kicked a second penalty to leave the half time score 12-6.
Cooke went over following a neat switch with Andy Garrish and converted his own try to put Rye 13 points clear.
Brighton refused to lie down, however, and a converted try meant they ended within one score of their opponents.
See Friday’s Observers for full reports on both matches.