H&B target Shield glory

14/1/12- Hastings and Bexhill vs Shooters Hill rugby action.  Photo by  Steve Hunnisett
14/1/12- Hastings and Bexhill vs Shooters Hill rugby action. Photo by Steve Hunnisett

Hastings & Bexhill are bidding to win a county knockout competition for the first time in eight years.

The in-form rugby club will take on Holbrook in the Sussex Shield final at Horsham RFC on Sunday. Kick-off is 2.30pm.

Head coach Kevin Smith said: “Getting to the final’s great for the club. Let’s take another major step and see if we can get some silverware. If we do it’s because the guys have worked hard.”

H&B have won nine of their last 11 league matches to sit fourth in Kent One, while Holbrook have lost their most recent three league games to lie seventh in Sussex One.

“I think we do go into the game as favourites, but I’m not going to labour that point,” continued Smith. “The quality of the teams we’ve played week in, week out over the season in Kent One I think is stronger and I think that might give us the advantage.

“I don’t under-estimate them and I don’t think anybody can afford to. I think we’ve got to really be up for it and treat Holbrook just as we would treat any other team in the league; with enough respect to be careful, but play our game with the same intensity.”

Having only returned to the club last summer, Smith admits he knows very little about Holbrook. But a number of the players will have played against them last season when H&B were in Sussex One.

H&B ran out crushing 76-3 winners at home to the West Sussex outfit last March having lost 27-19 in the previous month’s reverse fixture. Holbrook would eventually finish third and H&B were a point behind in fifth.

See today’s Observers for the full article.