Blue and Golds crash down to earth in Hove

Richard Barron
Richard Barron

Eastbourne were brought down to earth by a well-drilled Hove side, who took revenge for their defeat at Park Avenue earlier in the season.

Boosted by several cameo performances in the back line, Hove outplayed the Blue & Golds tactically and positionally, dominating the first half with a proud display.

Eastbourne contributed to their own demise with elementary handling errors and loose kicking from hand. Too often the ball was kicked to one of the Hove back-five players and they ran back with ease.

Three simple tries in the first quarter rocked Eastbourne, who barely played outside their own half.

Facing a 17-0 score after 25 minutes Martin King seized a loose ball and manufactured a beautiful try, searing through the home defence.

It never looked like the start of a comeback, though, and two quick tries late in the half took Hove to the turnaround 31-5 ahead.

The second half looked to start in the same vein; the outstanding Hove centres combining to put another five points on the board.

However, Eastbourne began to claw their way back into the game. Taking advantage of a superior penalty count, the away team spent much of the second half on the front foot.

Barron, Redman and Turner never stopped working and their efforts were eventually rewarded when Matt Hayller, on as substitute, touched down in the corner.

Hove scored one last try on the final whistle – a great running move that exemplified their ability to attack from defence.

The defeat may serve as a wake-up call ahead of Eastbourne`s home RFU Cup game against Beccehamians on February 2nd.

Eastbourne: Barron, Bettles, Keen, Chilvers, Mottram, Redman, Curtis, Turner, Aitkenhead, Cousins, Sage, King Stevenson, Fenner, Cheater, Jameson, Hayller, Slaughter.