Unbeaten start comes to an end

Rye Rugby Club 2011. 24/9/11'David Blackman
Rye Rugby Club 2011. 24/9/11'David Blackman

Hastings & Bexhill suffered their first defeat in Kent One on Saturday.

The rugby club’s two-match winning start came to an end with a 39-20 loss away to a well-drilled Shooters Hill side reportedly unbeaten on its own ground for three years.

A Paul Sandeman penalty gave H&B an early lead, but South London-based Hill replied with three tries before Tony Roche went over following good work from Kit Claughton and Rob McManus to make it 19-8 at half time.

After Hill stretched their lead to 27-8, Sandeman went over for H&B’s second try. Two more home tries put the result beyond doubt, although H&B had the last word when Piers Claughton ran the ball in under the posts.

Elsewhere, Rye lost 19-10 at home to unbeaten Burgess Hill in Sussex One. Hill opened up a 14-0 lead before Dave Blackman went over for a try converted by Chris Edwards to halve Rye’s deficit at the break.

An Edwards penalty closed the gap to 14-10 only for Hill to score a game-clinching third try. Full reports on both matches will appear in Friday’s Observers.