Rugby: Hastings and Bexhill rack up 53 points to crush Cliffe

Hastings and Bexhill RFC's convincing 53-3 win over Cliffe RFC moves them up to third place in Kent Division 1. Nine tries and four conversions show the complete domination H&B had over Cliffe.

A crunching tackle from Walker stops the Clifffe centre in his tracks / Picture: Peter Knight
A crunching tackle from Walker stops the Clifffe centre in his tracks / Picture: Peter Knight

The visitors from North Kent opened the scoring after two minutes with a well struck penalty awarded for not releasing the ball. This was to be the only occasion the Hastings line was seriously threatened.

The Hastings pack dominated the scrums and put the Cliffe defence under extreme pressure. H&B had a try disallowed but from that point on it was one-way traffic. A surging break from Frazer McManus put Max Mowbray into space to open the home account. Two more tries from the impressive Matt Stringer and Jake Stinson both converted by scrum half Sam Surridge gave H&B a 19-3 lead at half time.

Player coach; Steve "Saucie" McManus was replaced at half-time by promising newcomer Jack Hardy. This change did not disrupt H&B's domination of the play and six more tries followed in the second half. Stinson scored three more, bringing his total for the last two games to seven. Joe Whitehall-Jones came on for Archie Ridpath and scored two out on the left wing and centre Dan Suggitt rounded off the day with a well taken try. In the very windy conditions Surridge slotted two more conversions.

Four-try Hastings and Bexhill hero Jake Stinson / Picture: Peter Knight

The whole Hastings and Bexhill squad worked hard and gave a good performance. Special mention should go to the vastly improved hooker Josh Clarke, the flare and tackling of full back Harry Walker and the powerful No8 play of |Frazer McManus.

A buffet luncheon before the game was enjoyed by the club sponsors, coaches and administrators from the junior section and immediate Past President Peter Southee, who has moved to Derbyshire. During the lunch a raffle raised over £220 for a fund in memory of Harley Simpson.

Harley, a promising junior player, was killed five years ago in a terrible road accident in St Leonards. His grandparents, who live in Gloucestershire, have organised a charity football match this weekend on the anniversery of his death at Tuffley Park FC; to raise funds for equipment for H&B's junior players in honour of their grandson.

Next weekend (Nov 13) H&B travel to Foots Cray with high hopes of another league victory.