Blue and Golds crowned the champions of Sussex

Eastbourne celebrate
Eastbourne celebrate
  • Victory at local rivals Hellingly seals title
  • Blue and Golds have lost just once so far this season
  • Final game of the season is at Hove on Saturday

Eastbourne Rugby Club were crowned champions of Sussex Spitfire Division One after a convincing victory over local rivals Hellingly.

After a super season, which has seen the club lose just one match, the club secured their prize with a game to spare and will make the step up to the London leagues for the first time in three years.

They took their time to find their stride in treacherous conditions on Saturday but constant pressure forced the home side into numerous errors.

They struggled to convert that pressure into points but took a slender lead through two penalties from James Coulthard.

Eastbourne slowly began to grind the hosts down with good running from Tom Redman, Matt Webb and Tom Shuttleworth, while injuries to Nick King and Matt Mottram were duly deputised by the bench.

Steve Clark went over for the first try before Coulthard’s kicking continued to find the space between the posts.

Well done to all the lads, they have got their reward for all the hard work

Eastbourne Rugby chairman Fraser Brooks

Winger Charlie Smith scored the second try of the game after an excellent angled run and Hellingly had no answer to Eastbourne’s organisation and determination.

Capping a brilliant all-round display, Max Cheater outstripped his opponents to score a final try on the right-hand side.

One final burst from the home side failed to materialise and Eastbourne held on for a comfortable win .

Eastbourne Team: Imich, Bettles, Webb, Mottram, Farley, Redman, Shuttleworth, Sinclair, Pysden, McKay, Smith, Clarke, Coulthard, King N, Cheater, Keen D, Cousins, van Bentham.

HOW THE TITLE WAS WON: While Eastbourne claimed the title on saturday the writing has been on the wall for some time after dominating the season from start to finish.

They made their intentions clear early on with a 55-10 win over Hove ion the opening game before following that with further big wins over Rye and Crawley.

A 72-0 win at rivals Seaford was perhaps the biggest early indication of just what this side was capable of, while last year’s runners-up crawley felt their full force as well.

Burgess Hill, tipped to be Eastbourne’s biggest rivals were beaten 43-6, while they dug in to claim a crucial 16-16 draw in the reverse fixture.

The only blot on Eastbourne’s copy book this season was a 19-0 defeat at brighton II. there was one further defeat to a strong Battersea outfit in the cup.

The final game of the season sees them travel to the side where it all started. Hove won’t roll over but the Blue and Golds could finish the season in style and reach a whopping 96 points.