H&B ‘need to win’ key derby clash

Action from the reverse fixture between Hastings & Bexhill and Lewes before Christmas. Picture courtesy Danny Simpson
Action from the reverse fixture between Hastings & Bexhill and Lewes before Christmas. Picture courtesy Danny Simpson

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club is preparing for a match which head coach Chris Brooks says it needs to win in its quest to avoid relegation.

H&B will host Lewes in its final home game of the season tomorrow (Saturday) seeking a victory which would go a long way towards preserving the club’s London Three South East status.

Brooks said: “It’s one that we need to win. The players know how precarious the situation is and I’m expecting a strong squad. I’m expecting us to be at the top of our game on Saturday and if we are I think we have the beating of them.”

With three games to go, H&B are ninth in the 12-team division - one place and two points above a Folkestone side which occupies the final relegation spot.

They will be targeting a ninth victory of the campaign against Lewes, who are three places and six points above H&B, and beat them 31-24 in December’s reverse fixture.

“Lewes have had some good results, but I think in terms of our style of play and on our home park with a good selection, it’s our best chance of getting a victory (in the remaining games),” added Brooks.

“We didn’t play very well against them (previously) and only lost by a handful of points. It was very much a missed opportunity.

“It was fairly evenly-matched in all departments before. They had no discernible advantage up-front and they weren’t pacier than us around the fringes.”

Jimmy Adams is expected to be fit, Eliot Parry should be back at scrum-half and Harry Walker is also likely to be available for a match which will kick-off at 3pm at Ark William Parker Academy.

Folkestone will travel to seventh-placed Crowborough tomorrow and Park House - who are four points and one place above H&B having played an extra game - are away to leaders Aylesford Bulls.

Standings (played 19 matches unless stated): 1 Aylesford Bulls 82pts. 2 Thanet Wanderers 79, 3 Old Dunstonians 59, 4 Bromley 58, 5 Old Williamsonians (20) 56, 6 Lewes (20) 50, 7 Crowborough 49, 8 Park House (20) 48, 9 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 44, 10 Folkestone 42, 11 Sheppey 8, 12 Crawley (20) -3.

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