Rye Rugby Club defeated table-topping opposition in a dramatic finish on Saturday.
A brilliant penalty from out wide by Gary Edmunds with the final kick of the game gave Rye a nailbiting 8-7 victory at home to Sussex Intermediate League leaders Shoreham.
Rye coach Jeremy Nobbs said: “It crept over the posts. It looked like it was going to drop below (the crossbar), but somehow it went over.”
Shoreham arrived at New Road having won 14 of their first 15 league matches, but Rye are in good form at the moment and it proved to be a tough battle throughout.
Rye played with the wind - which was unusually coming from the north-east - during the first half and started brightly. They enjoyed a good attacking platform in the opening 10 minutes, but couldn’t convert pressure into points.
Shoreham then managed to get control of the ball and put Rye under pressure, but for the most part it was a case of two very strong defences cancelling each other out.
The visitors took a 7-0 half time lead on the back of a well-worked converted try. A great kick into the corner led to a very well executed catch and drive from a lineout, which Rye were unable to stop.
Rye played very well against the conditions during the second period, but even though their replacements made an impact, it was getting to the stage where they thought they weren’t going to make the breakthrough.
But finally they managed to unlock the stubborn Shoreham defence. After sustained pressure and multiple phases, Ben Hassall went over in the corner. Chris Edwards was unsuccessful with a difficult conversion so Rye trailed 7-5.
Rye kept pushing in the closing stages and eventually Shoreham conceded a penalty for offside. From right by the touchline and into the wind, Edmunds produced his magnificent kick to steal the victory.
“It was a very tough game and both sides ran themselves into the ground, but eventually we had a bit of luck at the end,” added Nobbs, whose side had turned down the chance to kick for goal from first half penalties.
Dave Smith, Rory Creavin and Greg Phillips all put in good performances, but Harrison Nobbs was Rye’s man of the match for his excellent work at the lineout and on the ground, plus a very high tackle count.
Rye are due to host bottom club Holbrook tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is 2.30pm.
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