Last gasp H&B scrape through

Jimmy Adams scored two tries in Hastings & Bexhill's narrow win away to Crawley
Jimmy Adams scored two tries in Hastings & Bexhill's narrow win away to Crawley

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club pulled off a last ditch comeback to win 21-20 away to Crawley on Saturday.

So though a flawed performance in slippery conditions, this first round RFU Junior Vase victory was a major improvement on the previous week, demonstrating a steelier will and a final heroic effort against the clock.

For half-an-hour H&B swarmed all over Crawley. The visitors could and should have been several scores ahead, but it was Crawley who took a 5-0 lead with a try in the corner.

Kit Claughton turned over Crawley ball in the tackle, Bruce Steadman stepped and hared down his wing, offloading to skipper Jimmy Adams, for a try converted by Tom Waring, 5-7.

The second half started disastrously for H&B. They bungled Crawley’s drop out, the hosts pounced on the loose ball and ran through flapping hands to retake the lead 10-7.

Minutes later from a scrum won by Crawley against the head in their 22, their wing hoodwinked a flat-footed defence to take them two scores clear.

A Claughton misspass set Eliot Parry off down the flank; an offload inside to Tom Waring, and the full-back scored and converted, 15-14.

Another offloading counter-attack took the ball from 10m line to 10m line, ended again by a penalty. Crawley took it quickly and it was a repeat of their previous try down the wing, 20-14.

H&B needed a converted try, 10 minutes remaining. A massive effort from H&B disrupted their opponents’ scrum, Alex Waring broke for the line, a driving maul carrying Adams over for a touchdown, converted by Tom Waring for victory.

Elsewhere in the same competition, Rye Rugby Club suffered a far from disgraceful 26-14 loss away to Kent One leaders Cranbrook.