Promotion hopes very much alive

Action from Hastings & Bexhill's comprehensive victory at home to Shooters Hill earlier in the season
Action from Hastings & Bexhill's comprehensive victory at home to Shooters Hill earlier in the season

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club’s promotion hopes are very much still alive.

H&B’s dramatic 22-21 victory at home to Cranbrook last weekend has moved them within two points of their victims in the race for second place in Kent One and with it a promotion play-off.

Both clubs have five matches to go, although H&B have the easier run-in on paper. All of their remaining games are against teams in the bottom six, while three of Cranbrook’s are against sides in the top six.

Head coach Kevin Smith wants H&B to go forward with a dominant performance away to second-bottom Shooters Hill tomorrow (Saturday). “We’ve never beaten them at their place, but if we’re going to get promotion, this has to be a five-pointer. We have to be ruthless,” said Smith.

H&B have remained undefeated at home all season and Smith is expecting his side to replicate that form on their travels. He added: “We have to forget about the success we’ve had at home, be consistent, get up there and smash them.

“We can’t get off the coach and just think we’re going to stroll up and win. Physically and mentally, we’ve got to get in there. However, Shooters Hill are a Kent One side, it’s going to be very difficult.”

Rye Rugby Club, meanwhile, will visit Haywards Heath II in Sussex One tomorrow. Rye have actually won two fewer matches than tomorrow’s opponents, but are eight points above them as a result of second-bottom Heath being deducted 20 points for unfulfilled fixtures.