Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club got the new year off to a bad start with a 19-17 defeat at home to Beccehamian on Saturday.
An early penalty gave Beccs a 0-3 lead. A Piers Claughton break set up well-controlled phases, ending with Kit Claughton diving over for an unconverted try. Beccs soon scored a penalty to restore a slim advantage.
Beccs kicked a penalty in the early minutes of the second half, before an intercepted attacking kick was run in to create an 11-point gap.
H&B’s pack drove over Beccs’ tryline, but were held up. A half break and slipped pass from Piers Claughton to Jacob McDonough saw the latter’s debut try, converted by Calvin Crosby-Clarke, 12-16.
Beccs then kicked a final penalty before a dropped ball was brilliantly gathered by Ben Campbell, outstepping the full-back for a frustratingly unconverted try. H&B are sixth in Kent One and 10 points off the pace.
Contrastingly, Rye RFC got their 2013 off to a winning start, beating Lewes II 25-17 - ending a run of five league defeats in a row.
Lewes scored three tries in the match, all against the run of play, with Rye - who are now up to fourth in Sussex One - needing a late surge to deservedly take the points.
Tommy Nunn scored two tries, while Henry Short scored one. The final, game sealing try came in the last minute, when great work from Harry Buttery saw Ben Short get over the line.
For a full report on both matches, please see these week’s Observers.