H&B spirited in defeat to leaders

15/10/11- Hastings and Bexhill vs Gillingham Anchorians rugby action. Photo by Steve Hunnisett
15/10/11- Hastings and Bexhill vs Gillingham Anchorians rugby action. Photo by Steve Hunnisett
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Hastings & Bexhill produced an encouraging performance against the Kent One leaders on Saturday.

Although the rugby club lost 30-20 at home to unbeaten Gillingham Anchorians, H&B fought back from trailing 22-3 after 20 minutes to dominate the second half.

Matt Harbord scored in the corner to make it 22-8 at half time and a Ben Campbell try converted by Paul Sandeman early in the second period cut the gap by a further seven.

A penalty and try extended Gillingham’s cushion to 30-15, but Sandeman went over with five minutes to go and only a disallowed try on the final whistle denied H&B a bonus point.

Standings (played-points): 1 Gillingham Anchorians 7-32, 2 Vigo 7-28, 3 Dartfordians 7-27, 4 Shooters Hill 6-21, 5 Sitttingbourne 6-18, 6 Old Gravesendians 7-15, 7 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 6-15, 8 Guys’ Kings’ & St Thomas’ Hospital 7-12, 9 Cranbrook 6-10, 10 Whitstable 6-10, 11 HSBC 7-10, 12 New Ash Green 6-2, 13 Beccehamian 6-1.

H&B were back in action on Sunday, producing a remarkable comeback to win 38-26 against Brighton University at Eastbourne RFC in the Sussex Shield.

Although a Bruce Steadman try and Tom Waring conversion put H&B 7-0 ahead, the students replied with four tries to lead 26-7 and the game looked lost for H&B.

But a second score from Steadman followed by second half tries for Steve McManus, Piers Claughton, Matt Harbord and Kit Claughton turned the match around.

Full reports on both fixtures, along with pictures from the Gillingham clash, will appear in Friday’s Observers.