New Ash Green 0, Hastings & Bexhill 22

By Peter Knight

Hastings & Bexhill made the long journey to New Ash Green (beyond Sevenoaks) last Saturday and were rewarded with an excellent win in their Kent League contest. It will have abated, if not quite expunged, memories of a dismal performance and heavy defeat at home to Kings College Hospital the weekend before. 

H&B lost that earlier game 52-6 but, having made six squad changes, came away worthy winners against a side containing some very big forwards.

Tom Vincent, Chris Butler and Isaac Wales all made a positive impact on their return to the scrum. Jake Stinson put in an impressive performance on the wing. John Hanagarth and Russell Reid came off the bench to consolidate the win.

H&B (in blue-and-white) win scrum near New Ash Green line

Hastings took the lead after 27 minutes of very evenly fought play. The New Ash Green defence were put under severe pressure and gave away one penalty too many;  the referee’s decision of a penalty try was unarguable.

Tom Waring increased the lead with a well-taken penalty kick to make the half time score 10-0.

After the break H&B continued to dominate, and Archie Ridpath crowned an impressive performance with a try under the posts for Waring to convert.

Coach Ben Davies was able to use his replacements to great effect. The rarely available Hanagarth made an impactful return to the scrum, replacing Alex Waring who had made a good contribution. Reid came on for winger John Whitehall-Jones, who looked more settled this week. Josh Clarke was a straight swap for Vincent in the front row. 

Eventually Tom Waring ran over 40 metres to complete the scoring with an unconverted try. 

H&B’s next game will be at home on 19th October to Southwark Lancers, who have made a good start to the season. It is hoped that more of the Hastings big guns will be available; unfortunately skipper Bruce Steadman’s ankle injury will put him out for at least six weeks.

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