At last Lewes maintained a half-time lead and finished the stronger in defeating London-based Colfeians to keep their hopes of avoiding the drop still alive.
In perfect conditions, it was the visitors who put the first points on the board with a penalty after five minutes from their outside-half, Jack Potter, to open the lead at 0 – 3.But Lewes then took the game to their mid-table opponents right from the re-start, with a well-worked try under the posts only one minute later from scrum-half Will Bell, outside-half Jon Pitt’s conversion making it 7 – 3. From the re-start, another flowing move from the hosts from inside their own half saw outstanding No. 8 Rupert Arbuthnot run 60 metres to the line for a great try, Pitt’s conversion stretching the advantage to 14 – 3.
Colfeians responded with a second Potter penalty, 14 – 9, but the hosts pulled away again on 34 minutes, with a captain’s try from centre Josh McGlynn, the conversion just missing the posts, to make it 19 – 9.
The remaining minutes of the saw a resurgence from Colfeians, aided in no small manner by some referring decisions which baffled the large home crowd, including the sin-binning of prop-forward Lucas Fallbrown after 35 minutes. The temporary one-man deficit for Lewes enabled Colfeians to take advantage by scoring an unconverted forwards’ try just before the whistle from second-row Steve Howard.
Normally, a 19 – 14 half-time lead would see Lewes crumble in the second half – but not this week. A much- improved performance, especially from the pack, saw them continuing their attacking play in the second half – although not before Colfeians had drawn level 19 – 19 after 42 minutes with another Potter penalty.
This proved to be their last score of the match, as Lewes took control of the remainder of the match, scoring 2 more tries from Lenny Van Der Velde and McGlynn, with Pitt’s converting 2 and kicking a penalty to see Lewes run out worthy bonus-point winners by 36 – 19.
Lewes: Williams, Hipwell, Fallbrown, Gorbell, Ridley, Blunt, McAleer, Arbuthnot, Bell, Pitts, Lloyd, J.McGlynn (Capt.), Van Der Velde, Mills, Carter. (reps., all used: M. Wood, J. Wood, Teti. Ball-boy: James Durrant. Ref.-Mr. A. Randall – East Midlands Soc.)
More Lewes rugby in this week’s Express