Blue and Golds enjoy life in the spotlight

Eastbourne and Seaford contest the ball at Park Avenue on Friday night
Eastbourne and Seaford contest the ball at Park Avenue on Friday night

Eastbourne Rugby Club triumphed in their local derby Sussex Spitfire division one league clash against Seaford at Park Avenue on Friday night.

In their first ever game under floodlights, the Blue and Golds out-scored the visitors 20-6 in what proved a hard fought game of rugby in front of more than 400 spectators.

It was Eastbourne who dominated possession throughout the game but it was a credit to Seaford`s tenacity that they never once accepted second best and indeed led for much of the game.

The scoring opened on 15 minutes with one of the finest tries seen at the club for many years. Full back Cheater showed his searing pace; quick handling and a superb touch-down by skipper Tom Redman.

However the lead was short lived because the penalty count began to rack up in favour of the visitors. Two accurate spot kicks by Seaford fly-half Paul Hardwick took his side into the lead which they held until half-time. Neither side was helped by a yellow card apiece following the only unsavoury incident in an otherwise clean game.

By the start of the second-half the penalty count had been calculated at 5-1 against Eastbourne and several scoring attempts went begging as a result.

However, although Seaford always looked dangerous it was the eye catching moments from Eastbourne that defined the eventual victory.

Eyre, Keen and Peleskei in the pack were immense. Hunt and Stevenson at half back controlled the game tactically; Stevenson`s kicking out of hand seemed to improve as the game wore on.

Rob Light had a stormer in the centre and Max Cheater pulled off a try saving tackle that turned the match. Midway through the half a clever clearance kick gave Eastbourne valuable possession and the forwards combined to put Luke Sage over in the corner.

Minutes later, a quickly taken penalty led to a further 5 points when new prop Peleskei rumbled over for his second try in so many weeks.

By this time, the game was almost won; a second yellow card for a technical offence reduced the home side to 14 men yet again but the prospect of a 4th bonus point try provided the impetus to finish in style.

This was achieved in the 40th minute when another forward effort popped the ball up for Luke Sage to claim his second score of the night.

Eastbourne loose head prop Liam Eyre was voted man of the match by the Sussex RFU chairman and was awarded a BMW for a week courtesy of match sponsors Chandlers BMW.

Coach Mal Chumley was extremely pleased and his post match comments were full of praise for the efforts of all players.

Eastbourne:- Eyre; Bettles; Keen; Mottram ; Chilvers; Redman (c); Cousins; Turner; Hunt; Stevenson; Fenner; King; Light; Sage; Cheater; Peleskei; Hayllar; Mattock