Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club surrendered a 14-point second half lead as it was beaten at home for the first time this season.
H&B saw a 17-3 advantage turn into a 21-17 defeat against Vigo in London Three South East on Saturday.
In dry, sunny conditions and after a week off, it was all H&B for the first 10 minutes but they were unable to turn the pressure into points. Tom Waring missed a penalty after Vigo were penalised for offside.
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Vigo broke into H&B’s half for the first time on 12 minutes and took a 3-0 lead with a penalty from in front of the posts. They missed the chance to double their advantage eight minutes later when they failed to kick a penalty from an easy position.
On 25 minutes, Waring went over in the corner for the first try of the day following sustained pressure by H&B. His magnificent conversion from the touchline made it 7-3 to the home side.
Tim Sills was causing all sorts of problems for the Vigo defence and just before half time his excellent run led to a backs’ move which ended in Tom Foord scoring in the corner.
Foord suffered a dislocated ankle in the act of scoring, however, which resulted in him going to hospital. The conversion was missed by Waring.
H&B continued to dominate early in the second half and substitute Tom Jones touched down for another try, again in the corner, and although the conversion was missed, H&B led 17-3.
Six minutes into the second half, though, Vigo intercepted an H&B pass and proceeded to score under the posts. With an easy conversion, they closed the gap to 17-10.
From this point on, Vigo took control of the game. A series of penalties, one of which was kicked, brought Vigo right back into the game at 17-13.
On the hour, Vigo were rewarded for their second half pressure with an unconverted try and an 18-17 lead. With 10 minutes to go, Vigo extended their lead to four points with another penalty.
The home team rallied for the last few minutes, with the forwards and backs desperately trying to get the try they needed to swing the contest H&B’s way.
Even after a Vigo player was yellow carded for continually being offside and playing the ball in the ruck, H&B were just unable to breach the visitors’ defence. A disappointing result after being so much in charge during the first half.
H&B’s under-13 team formed a guard of honour for both sides before the match as they left the changing rooms and entered the field of play.
H&B: McDonough, Umpleby, S. McManus, Crosby-Clarke, Sewell, Van Herpen, Hanagarth, F. McManus, Shaw, Steadman, Suggitt, Waring, Stinson, Sills, Foord. Subs: J. Jones, T. Jones, Geary.