WITH both Lewes firsts having a rest day, and the thirds’ game at home to Seaford seconds being cancelled by the visitors, Lewes’ 2nd XV were able to put out a mixed second team which comprised players from all their three sides in their away friendly match against Seaford firsts.
In damp conditions at the Salts, it took Lewes some 16 minutes to get on the score sheet with a push-over try from a scrum by No 8 Callum Armstrong, converted by outside-half Jordan Wythe, to open up an early 7-0 lead. Seaford then exerted some pressure on the visitors’ line but, as this broke up, a kick-ahead by Wythe saw him win the race for the touch-down try, the missed conversion nevertheless extending Lewes’ lead to 12-0. Seaford’s fate was made worse a few minutes later when their back-row forward was sin-binned for a high tackle, followed by one player from each team also being yellow-carded for what may be described as an innocuous ‘handbag’ incident.
But despite being temporarily reduced to 13 players it was the hosts who scored next, when, just before the half-time break, their full-back Luke Newby went over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The second half belonged to Lewes, and it took them only another five minutes to extend their advantage to 17-5, replacement flanker Tom Tudor picking up a tap-penalty ball and racing some 30 metres for a fine (but unconverted) try.
Scrum-half Will Bell then scored another unconverted try, from the base of the scrum, to make it 22-5 after 55 minutes.
The next 10 minutes saw Lewes on top, with a further try from Armstrong (converted by centre Will Kemp); to which Seaford responded with a try of their own by centre Chris Burns, converted by Ben Cox, to make it 29-12. But Lewes then began to pull away, with a brace of tries from winger John Smith (one of which he also converted) and – following a jinking move – one from replacement fly-half Dan Wade to extend the advantage to 46-12. The game ended with the best move of the match, the ball being taken from within Lewes’ own 22-metre area and then swiftly worked upfield to see centre Nick Sharp round off a fine move with the final, but unconverted, try to see Lewes run out worthy winners by 51-12.
On Saturday, Lewes 1st XV return to League duties with a tough home fixture against mid-table opponents Old Dunstonians, kick off 3pm.
Before this match, former Lewes stalwart Dave Harris and his Brighton Lifeboat team will be walking from Brighton to the Stanley Turner Ground for their Annual Pre-Match Luncheon.