Depleted H&B gallant in defeat

Alex Waring goes over for Hastings & Bexhill's try against Beccehamian. Picture courtesy Peter Knight
Alex Waring goes over for Hastings & Bexhill's try against Beccehamian. Picture courtesy Peter Knight

A depleted Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club team produced a highly creditable performance in a narrow away defeat.

An H&B side missing around six regulars and featuring two debutants was edged out 10-8 in a Kent One third versus fourth clash against Beccehamian on Saturday.

The club should be proud of its players who fought so hard on its behalf on a very heavy, slippery and sloping pitch in West Wickham.

After 20 minutes of very even play, H&B drew first blood. H&B were pressuring the home line, and from a lineout and the ensuing ruck, Alex Waring came off the back of the pack to drive over for an unconverted try.

Beecehamian hit back, however, by coming down the slope and managing to get the ball out to their winger, who scored a try in the corner.

The rest of the first half continued in much the same vein with both teams struggling for supremacy and the score was 5-5 at the break.

H&B were giving a good account of themselves in a hard-fought and well-balanced contest. The 9-10 axis was working well.

Tucker White was everywhere and was more than a satisfactory replacement for the absent Elliot Parry, while Sam Haslem - making his debut at number eight - put in a good, hard performance and will surely get more calls into the first XV.

Joe Umpleby, who had played well, had to leave the field with an injury five minutes into the second half and his replacement was the second debutant of the day, Tom Pascall.

James Morris came on for Kit Claughton and H&B continued to put pressure on the Beccs defence. In the 55th minute they won a penalty, which Alex Nichols slotted over with a good kick to give H&B an 8-5 lead.

Ben Campbell sustained a nasty cut to the lip and Claughton was recalled to the fray. H&B were under pressure from the Beccehamian pack and an attempted clearance was charged down to give the home team a very fortunate match-winning try.

Beccehamian hung on for a 10-8 victory in a game which could have gone either way.

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