Big guns missing for key game

Hastings and Bexhill (H&B) Rugby Club. Team shot and individual head & Shoulder pictures'19.09.09.'Anthony Roche AH39602f'Photo by:TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY
Hastings and Bexhill (H&B) Rugby Club. Team shot and individual head & Shoulder pictures'19.09.09.'Anthony Roche AH39602f'Photo by:TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY
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Hastings & Bexhill will be without four senior players as they bid to secure a promotion play-off spot.

Jimmy Adams, Piers Claughton, captain Roger Roberts and Anthony Roche will all miss the rugby club’s final game of the Sussex One season at home to Burgess Hill tomorrow (Saturday) as they’re attending a wedding.

Among those who could be coming in is forward Jason Holewell, who hasn’t played since being stabbed in the stomach on a night out in Hastings during December.

The permutations are seemingly endless, but put simply, H&B are one of three teams - the others being Burgess Hill and Holbrook - vying to finish second and with it go into a play-off against the runners-up in Kent One.

Burgess Hill hold a four-point cushion over third-placed Holbrook after winning their game in hand 60-0 at home to bottom-of-the-table St Francis last weekend. Fourth-placed H&B are a further point back.

H&B will finish above Burgess Hill on points difference if they win the game with a bonus point and their opponents don’t achieve a bonus point - so H&B must score four or more tries and win by more than seven points.

Should they do that, H&B will still have to hope that Holbrook don’t pick up a bonus point victory in their last match away to fifth-placed Pulborough. A tall order, but possible.

H&B chairman David Hirst said: “We’re going into it with a very positive view. I think if we can hold them up-front - and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t do that - we should still have the ability in the backs against their backs.”

Kick-off at William Parker Sports College is 3pm. Elsewhere in Sussex One tomorrow, Rye will host East Grinstead II.

The full article can be viewed in today’s Hastings Observer.