H&B triumph in physical final

Hastings & Bexhill are basking in the glory of their first Sussex Shield triumph since 2004.

The rugby club beat a determined Holbrook side 31-17 in a relentlessly physical final at Horsham RFC yesterday (Sunday).

After twice being held up over the line, H&B finally opened the scoring when Dillon Newell touched down under the posts with Paul Sandeman converting. A Piers Claughton try and Sandeman conversion made it 14-0 within 10 minutes.

But Holbrook halved their deficit their big wing burst over the line and the scores were level at half time after the Sussex One side carried powerfully from a lineout 10 metres out.

Kent One outfit H&B began to look the fitter and more mobile side as the second half progressed, though, and Kit Claughton knocked aside defenders for a try converted by Sandeman.

A Holbrook penalty made it 21-17, but Sandeman replied in kind to restore H&B’s seven-point cushion and Piers Claughton’s second try following a powerful break by Newell sealed the win.

A full report and reaction will appear in Friday’s Observers.