Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club made it four straight wins for the first time this season with a 31-17 victory at King’s College Hospital on Saturday.
H&B were 10-0 down in as many minutes, but gradually the tide turned. From a well won lineout and drive to the home 22, a practiced backs move saw Tom Waring in for an unconverted try, 10-5.
Second-placed H&B started the second half with assurance: a Davies break putting Adams in at the corner, converted by Paul Sandeman, 10-12. King’s retook the lead with a converted try, 17-12.
From quick lineout ball H&B’s half-backs fired out pinpoint passes, Ben Campbell, creative at centre, linked with Waring, the latter brushing aside tacklers for a converted try, 17-19.
King’s missed a penalty, then strong forward carries and polished backline handling saw Kit Claughton tackled short of the line, a pop to Campbell, and a fourth, converted, bonus point try, 17-26.
Tom Waring again mesmerised defenders for his hat-trick, Herbalife man of the match award, and a 17-31 result. In the final moments Sandeman was red carded for a late tackle.
The result keeps H&B second in Kent One. H&B were awarded a walkover through to the Sussex Shield final, meanwhile, after Hellingly failed to raise a side for Sunday’s scheduled semi-final.
Cinque Ports, meanwhile, were edged out 22-19 away to Heathfield & Waldron III after conceding a last gasp penalty. A penalty try gave Ports a 7-0 lead, but they trailed 12-7 at the break.
Whittington touched down his own kick and although Heathfield scored a great breakaway, Eastwood scored a try converted by Smart. Heathfield took the lead again, though, with a penalty and held on.
See Friday’s Observers for full reports on both matches.