Hastings and Bexhill battle well - but are beaten by Park House

Despite some excellent work from the whole Hastings and Bexhill RFC squad, Park House ran out narrow 10-6 victors of their very hard-fought game.

The visitors’ team included some big, strong men and the home defence was always under pressure.

The game started badly for H&B when centre Dan Suggitt had to be helped from the pitch with a torn calf muscle after only 30 seconds’ play.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

He was replaced by Tom Waring, who produced an excellent display in only his third game of the season.

Hastings and Bexhill RFC v Park House RFC / Pictures: Yellow Rose Photography

Hastings took the lead after only their first venture into the opposition 22, a well struck penalty kick from skipper Bruce Steadman.

The Park House defence were adjudged not to have released the ball after a tackle and the scrum half duly slotted the kick from about thirty metres out.

A bizarre incident lead to Park House taking the lead.

The usually reliable Louis Sealy attempted a clearance kick from the base of the scrum; but pressure from the Park House forwards forced him into miskicking – and the ball ended up going backwards over the dead ball line.

Hastings and Bexhill RFC take on Park House RFC / Pictures: Yellow Rose Photography

From the ensuing scrum the visitors pack won the ball and released their back line, the centre crashed over the whitewash to score under the posts.

The conversion was successful and they were four points to the good.

The Hastings pack contain some strong men of their own.

The McManus family all played well and the second row powerhouse of Matt Stringer and Calvin Crosby-Clarke held Park House at bay for long periods of the game.

On another rare venture into the opponents twenty two H&B won another penalty kick.

Steadman was again successful and at half time the score was H&B 6, Park House 7.

In the interval assistant coach Dave Hirst swapped Jack Hardy for Josh Jones in the front row.

The game continued in the same vein, neither side could gain a clear advantage.

Harry Walker put on a great display of defensive tackles and worked hard to release his back line.

But the Park House backs were a good match for the home attack and there was little for the home supporters to cheer.

The hard-working Ben Bailey was replaced by Jack Mather and Hardy returned for player coach Steve McManus.

Unfortunately these changes did not bring any points.

Park House increased their lead with a well taken penalty from 40 metres out. A bonus point for losing by less than seven points was H&Bs only reward for a very hard afternoon’s work.

Meanwhile H&B 2nd XV entertained Pulborough RFC and scored seven tries with two conversions to run out 39-7 victors.

This week the firsts do not have a game but the twos are at home to Ditchling RFC, 2pm kick off.

The 1st XV return to action on January 29 at home to Brocklians RFC and the seconds entertain Jersey RFC, both games starting at 2pm.

hastingsobserver.co.uk