After successive narrow away defeats in Kent One, Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club returned to winning ways at a windswept Ark William Parker Academy on Saturday.
H&B pulled away during the second half to complete a league double over Southwark Lancers and remain on course for at least a top four finish, eventually running out 24-17 winners.
“Every game in this league is a toughie and the conditions suited them a lot more than us,” said H&B head coach Chris Brooks. “We weren’t supporting our runners and we were getting turned over in the first half, but the guys played out of their skin in the second half.”
The strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch made handling something of a lottery and led to many errors from both sides in a game which H&B won more comfortably than the score would suggest.
Southwark kicked-off into the wind and soon opened the scoring. The full-back broke through the H&B defence to score a try under the posts which was duly converted.
H&B equalised with a well-taken close range try from captain Jimmy Adams, which was converted by Harry Foster with a well-struck kick from out wide.
The first half ended with the score 7-7 and the only winner was the gale, which was doing its best to spoil the players’ efforts to play open rugby.
The half time team-talk obviously did the trick for H&B as they came out in the second period a changed team. Playing with confidence and tenacity, they soon built up a winning lead.
Chas Ackerley came on for Bruce Steadman and scored a try with his first touch of the ball. Jack Jones replaced John Hanagarth in the back row and he too went over for a try which was converted by Foster.
H&B’s bonus point fourth try came from Foster, who this season has made a very successful switch from full-back to fly-half.
This made the score 24-7 and H&B were in full control. Southwark replied late on with a converted try and a penalty to earn a losing bonus point.
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