Hastings & Bexhill RFC won all five league points before their Sussex One game at home to Brighton IIs had even kicked-off on Saturday - but that was as good as it got for them all afternoon.
It was a day both sides will want to forget - Brighton for being unable to field a specialised front row, hence their forfeit of the game under league rules; H&B for their inability to summon the desire and discipline to beat the side they won to away earlier in the season.
H&B took the lead with a well-struck penalty by full-back Ben Lee, but Brighton hit straight back when their forwards burst through for an unconverted try and minutes later their speedy wing outstripped the defence to give them a 3-12 cushion.
Mark Piotrowski powered over in the corner, converted by Lee to close the gap to 10-12, but a quick Brighton break saw their wing speed over for a 10-19 half time lead.
Playing with the wind in the second half, Brighton surged down the pitch for a fourth try that saw them 10-26 ahead. Lee put substitute Ben Petty away for a good, unconverted try that closed the score to 15-26.
H&B were now camped in Brighton’s half, and from a quick tap penalty close to the line, substitute Dom Sewell bullied his way over for a final 20-26 scoreline.
Elsewhere in the same division, Rye were beaten by two points for the second game running when they were edged out 15-13 at home to Pulborough.
Full reports on both games will appear in Friday’s Observers.