Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club returned to winning ways with a 34-13 victory away to Sittingbourne in Kent One on Saturday.
Sittingbourne struck early with a push-over try for a 5-0 lead. A series of H&B pick and drives ended with Kit Claughton spotting a defensive mismatch and
dummying under the posts, Tom Waring converting, 5-7.
A Piers Claughton break ended with Ilian Granville earning a penalty, converted by Waring, 5-10. Sittingbourne responded with a penalty, then a driven lineout and a well-supported attack down the flank for a 13-10 half time lead.
The second half was initially an arm wrestle, but H&B’s offloading game was a constant threat, Sittingbourne’s long kicks decreasingly so. From a driven lineout and pick and drives, Mark Piotrowski barreled over for a try converted by Waring, 13-17.
A dangerous chip from Sittingbourne was skilfully anticipated and run back by Bruce Steadman. From his 22 Kit Claughton broke down the flank, excellent midfield handling ending with Eliot Parry scoring in the corner.
Then a textbook drawing-and-passing quick penalty in Sittingbourne’s 22 involving the Claughtons, Chas Ackerley and scorer Waring for a bonus points try.
A powerful maul by H&B’s pack from halfway to the 22, a deceptive inside flick from Claughton to Piotrowski and the latter went in for his second, converted, try and a 34-13 victory.
Standings (all played 10 matches): 1 Park House 41pts, 2 Cranbrook 39, 3 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 37, 4 Southwark Lancers 30, 5 Vigo 26, 6 Old Gravesendians 26, 7 Old Williamsonians 22, 8 HSBC 22, 9 King’s College Hospital 18, 10 Sittingbourne 13, 11 Foots Cray 8, 12 Shooters Hill 7.
Rye Rugby Club, meanwhile, suffered an 80-0 drubbing away to Pulborough in a Sussex One top versus bottom encounter. Full reports on both matches will appear in Friday’s Observers.