Fast start fires H&B to victory

Hastings & Bexhill attack HSBC's line during their 30-8 victory at William Parker on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead
Hastings & Bexhill attack HSBC's line during their 30-8 victory at William Parker on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead
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Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club maintained its unbeaten home record with a 30-8 win over HSBC on Saturday.

The visitors turned up so late the kick-off was postponed, played the early minutes with 14 men, conceding a penalty from kick-off, converted by Tom Waring for the fastest 3-0 lead in memory.

Neither side began the Kent One fixture with much precision, until a 30-metre carry by Piers Claughton was recycled wide, carried by skipper Jimmy Adams and run down the wing by Eliot Parry for a try converted by Tom Waring.

Fifteen minutes into the game Kit Claughton took a quick tap penalty, moving the ball through hands to the five- metre line, where HSBC turned it over and kicked, Jimmy Adams running it back, Bruce Steadman making ground, then quick hands to Steve McManus for the try, 15-0.

Pressure paid off when a Bruce Steadman break was taken on by Chris Stern and Kit Claughton, Piers Claughton making the final break to the line, 20-0.

HSBC made a great effort from the restart, kicking a penalty, 20-3.

HSBC caught and drove a lineout on halfway, moving the ball to the backs, but H&B closed them down, Max Foord-Paton turning over the ball for some quick backline hands to Parry, who tore in at the corner for his second try, 25-3.

Ninth-placed HSBC started the second half the way they must have wished they’d started the game: their outside centre making a powerful break down the flank, untouched all the way to a touchdown, 25-8.

A high penalty count marred the second half for the hosts, H&B losing three players to the sinbin, at one stage down to 13 men, HSBC losing one.

With 15 minutes left, the ball was whipped wide quickly from a scrum five, and Calvin Crosby-Clarke muscled over in the corner to seal a 30-8 victory.

See Friday’s Hastings & Bexhill Observers for a full report.

Kent One standings (all played 11 matches): 1 Park House 46pts, 2 Cranbrook 44, 3 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 42, 4 Vigo 30, 5 Southwark Lancers 30, 6 Old Williamsonians 27, 7 Old Gravesendians 26, 8 King’s College Hospital 22, 9 HSBC 22, 10 Sittingbourne 13, 11 Foots Cray 8, 12 Shooters Hill 7.

Elsewhere, Rye Rugby Club picked up its first home win of the Sussex One campaign after opponents Lewes II were unable to raise a side. The New Roaders moved above Haywards Heath II off the foot of the table in the process.