Back in mix but away form must improve

Action from Hastings & Bexhill's win at home to Whitstable last weekend. Picture by Simon Newstead

Action from Hastings & Bexhill's win at home to Whitstable last weekend. Picture by Simon Newstead

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Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club is very much back in the Kent One promotion race.

Successive wins at home to the bottom two clubs have propelled H&B up to fourth and within three points of second-placed Beccehamian. The runners-up at the end of the season will contest a promotion play-off against the equivalent placed team in Sussex One.

Head coach Kevin Smith said: “It’s do-able. We are targeting that, but we’re keeping our heads level and we just want to play one game at a time. We’ve got seven games left and every one of them is winnable, but it’s going to be a hard slog. We’ve just got to keep plugging away.”

If H&B are to achieve a top two finish, they will have to improve their away form. H&B have won just once away from their William Parker Sports College base this season and that was against bottom club Whitstable, although it must be said that the trend of struggling away from home is reflected across the division.

What’s more, five of H&B’s remaining seven league games are on the road, starting with the trip to HSBC tomorrow (Saturday). “We’ve got to be better away,” Smith continued. “We’ve got a very important two weeks coming up, and we need to really concentrate on getting those points and climbing our way up the league. I think we’re starting to look a good side at the moment and we’re enjoying our rugby.”

Rye Rugby Club, meanwhile, is on the cusp of its best ever campaign after moving up to third place in the Sussex One table with just six games left to play.

The New Roaders have never previously finished in the upper reaches of the division and with a Sussex Shield final coming up next month, it could be a memorable season.

Rye host Chichester III tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm) in a game which could go a long way to deciding where they eventually end up. Their opponents are currently one place and four points behind them.