Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club moved up to second in Kent One with a narrow 10-7 win away to King’s College Hospital on Saturday.
In a game of raw power and dogged determination, it was H&B’s never-say-die last ditch defence that claimed the day by repulsing KCH’s late sieges of their line.
The first half was dominated by the set-piece, H&B shoved backwards on their own put-in, unable to create momentum. On the odd occasion H&B were able to get their trade-mark off-loading game going, they looked the more likely of the sides to score.
From a scrum on halfway, Calvin Crosby-Clarke broke down his wing, chipped cleverly, from the lineout H&B driving to the line, Jason Holewell scoring on the stroke of half time, Tom Waring converting for a 7-0 lead.
Holewell was sinbinned for a late tackle at the restart. KCH mauled the ball to the line, and after strong defence by H&B, drove over from a five-metre scrum for an equalising try.
H&B fought straight back, Steve McManus turning over a powerful prop in the tackle, Mark Piotrowski and skipper Jimmy Adams carrying strongly, to earn a penalty in front of the posts, Waring converting for a 10-7 advantage.
KCH then laid siege to H&B’s line, trying to batter through without much subtlety or ultimate success, thanks to sterling defensive work - once again Adams, Chris Stern, Holewell, McManus and the Claughtons stood out. KCH did cross the line once, but were held up.
See Friday’s Hastings & Bexhill Observers for a full report.
Standings (all played 12 matches): 1 Park House 51pts, 2 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 46, 3 Cranbrook 44, 4 Old Williamsonians 31, 5 Vigo 30, 6 Southwark Lancers 30, 7 Old Gravesendians 30, 8 HSBC 27, 9 King’s College Hospital 23, 10 Sittingbourne 14, 11 Foots Cray 13, 12 Shooters Hill 7.
Rye Rugby Club, meanwhile, won 26-16 at home to Seaford in a Sussex One and Sussex Shield double header. It was Rye’s first home victory of the season and it completed the double over Seaford. Rye move up to third-from-bottom.