Lewes' topsy turvy season continues at Bromley
After a poor result at Hastings the previous week, an injury-hit Lewes bounced back to form with a deserved win over promotion hopefuls Bromley to claw their way back up the League table.
It took only one minute for the hosts to open the score, winning ball straight from the kick-off for outside-centre Henry Shiell to sprint away from his own 22 metre line for a great try under the posts, converted by his brother, outside-half Billy, to go ahead 7-0. Bromley were stunned soon after as - from the re-start - Lewes won the ball before racing upfield, only for right-winger Harry Hanley to be fouled as he was about to touch down. The resultant penalty try saw his side go further ahead at 14-0.
Lewes's third try followed not long afterwards, a fine break from inside their own half by Henry Shiell ending with Hanley scoring an unconverted try to pull away at 19 -0. The next five minutes saw Bromley's pack entrenched inside the hosts' 22 metre zone, resulting in a penalty try to narrow the gap to 19-7.
SEE ALSO Brown says Sussex's 2018 season was a good one - can 2019 be a great one? | Fans enjoy pre-match conker game at Uckfield Rugby Club | Ronnie O'Sullivan set for snooker's English title defence in SussexBut Lewes hit back immediately, scoring their fourth, bonus-point try when skipper Sam Furse plunged over for an unconverted try to extend the lead to 24-7.
Bromley's second try came on the half-hour, centre James Powell scoring under the posts for a try which outside-half Steve Pillow converted to pull back to 24-14.
This only prompted Lewes into further action as they hit back with a flowing move the length of the pitch, rounded off by inside-centre Will Feltham, converted by Billy Shiell, to regain the advantage at 31-14.
With conditions deteriorating, the ball became more difficult to handle, leading to several unforced errors from both sides, so it was no surprise to the large crowd that no further scores were added at the half-time whistle.
The second half belonged to Lewes as their disciplined defence held off any Bromley attacks, aided by the fact that, when they did win possession, the Kent side appeared bereft of ideas.
Indeed, it was Lewes who scored first in the second session, a mis-kick by Bromley being snapped up by by influential back-rower Luke Robinson who then ran fully 40 metres before scoring out wide, the conversion missing, to make it 36-14. Play was now becoming scrappier, but Lewes still holding at bay any Bromley attacks by sterling work at the tackle and break-down. Even when Billy Shiell was yellow-carded on 68 minutes, Lewes's 14 men managed to hold out their opponents until he returned, after which - on 77 minutes - they were rewarded with a penalty which second-row Dan Wade kicked over to take a commanding 39-14 lead.
It was to Lewes's credit that they restricted Bromley to only one open-play try during the whole match, Bromley's last-gasp consolation points coming from their second penalty try to add some respectability to the scoreline at 39 -21.
Prop-forward Mo Bacha was voted "Man of the Match" by the players.
An impressive display by Lewes, who are without a game on Saturday, their next match being away to high-fliers Old Dunstonians on 20th. October.
Lewes: Bacha, Moule, Cripps, Wade, Lowen, Furse (Capt.), Robinson, Hatch, Taylor, W.Shiell, Durrant, Feltham, H. Shiell, Hanley, Bredin. (Reps., all used - Warren, Becker, Jones).
Lewes 2nd's visited Heathfield and Waldron, losing 25-19 in a closely-fought encounter, but returning home with a losing bonus point.