H&B hold on for exciting victory

Team pic and head shots of Hastings & Bexhill Rugby club.'01.10.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY'Paul Sandeman (Captain)
Team pic and head shots of Hastings & Bexhill Rugby club.'01.10.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY'Paul Sandeman (Captain)
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Hastings & Bexhill began 2012 with a thrilling 23-17 victory away to Beccehamian on Saturday.

The rugby club, who gave a starting debut to 18-year-old Elliot Simmons, opened the scoring through a Paul Sandeman penalty only for Beccehamian to go 7-3 up with a converted try under the posts.

Matt Harbord tore in under the posts for a try converted by Sandeman (pictured), who then kicked two penalties and converted his own try to give H&B a 23-7 advantage.

Beccs closed the gap to 23-14 at half time as the referee missed a huge knock-on. A second half penalty reduced their deficit to six points, but H&B held on for a much-needed victory.

Elsewhere, Rye were edged out 18-17 away to Burgess Hill in their first Sussex One fixture since the festive break. Full reports on both matches will appear in Friday’s Observers.

Standings (played-points) - Kent 1: 1 Gillingham Anchorians 14-60, 2 Vigo 14-56, 3 Dartfordians 15-52, 4 Shooters Hill 13-43, 5 Old Gravesendians 14-39, 6 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 13-39, 7 Sittingbourne 14-35, 8 Cranbrook 14-26, 9 HSBC 14-23, 10 Guy’s Hospital 12-17, 11 Whitstable 13-17, 12 New Ash Green 14-16, 13 Beccehamian 14-14.

Sussex 1: 1 Pulborough 11-46, 2 East Grinstead II 11-37, 3 Burgess Hill 11-31, 4 Holbrook 11-27, 5 Newick 11-24, 6 Brighton II 11-24, 7 Seaford 10-23, 8 RYE 10-18, 9 Eastbourne II 11-16, 10 Chichester III 9-10.