Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club suffered something of a nightmare before Christmas on Saturday.
H&B slumped to a painful 26-19 home defeat against a Lewes side which had failed to pick up a single point from its previous 11 London Three South East matches.
Head coach Kevin Smith said: “To be honest we deserved to lose because we didn’t close the game out. We never looked comfortable because we were playing into their hands.
“Ninty-five percent of everything they got was through our errors. We gave them their points and we gave Lewes their first win of the season.”
Lewes had most of the possession during the opening 15 minutes of this relegation dogfight before H&B bossed the final 25 minutes of the first half, albeit without capitalising on their dominance up-front.
The visitors had good pace in the backs and scored a breakaway try, while H&B claimed ‘the weirdest try’ Smith has ever seen when a Lewes player took a quick lineout 20 metres from his own line and passed straight to an H&B opponent, who gratefully ran in for the five points.
H&B came out for the second half with all guns blazing, but were unable to turn the screw. Despite winning their lineouts and mauling well, H&B missed three very kickable penalties to let Lewes off the hook.
That was compounded by conceding a try when a loose kick went to the fastest man on the field and another after missing several tackles. H&B’s cause was further hindered by giving away 22 penalties.