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.