Despite the defeats to Uckfield and Heathfield, Eastbourne were determined to put on a resolute display against the league number two side Bromley.
A long drive through the rain did not dampen their spirits and, on a wet afternoon with the little wind, conditions did not favour either side dramatically.
Good tackling from both sides meant the defences stayed secure in the opening exchanges. Eastbourne held their opponents and made good progress towards the Bromley line. The home side set up fluent running moves and showed their threatening capabilities.
Eastbourne struggled at times in the scrum and in the loose, making errors which were then turned into penalties for Bromley. The penalty count rose steadily as Bromley tightened the screw on the visitors.
Eventually after half an hour when there was still no score, quick ball from a Bromley scrum near the Blue and Golds’ line led to a neatly executed backs’ move that sent their full-back over for a try, duly converted. Despite good defence Eastbourne found themselves on the back foot again and the Kent side scored another unconverted try some five minutes later to lead 12-0.
At half-time Bromley were on top.
Attacking the Eastbourne line and giving the visitors’ pack a hard time Bromley were awarded a penalty try. A yellow card for Nick King saw the Blue and Golds reduced to fourteen men. Ten minutes later saw Bromley score once again to lead 24-0. But Eastbourne had not thrown in the towel and, putting a number of good moves together, finally progressed towards the Bromley line and excellent teamwork saw James, active, involved and robust as ever, charge over for a try duly converted by Ben Barter. Bromley replied immediately and scored a converted try of their own. The final score 31-7 to the Kent leaders.
Though a disappointing result in the end for Eastbourne on a wet and difficult day with the penalty count heavily in favour of the home side, the boys from the sunshine coast have nothing to be ashamed of. There were some good performance from the backs, glimpses of skill and attacking flair from Eastbourne and a run-out for Jon Warner and Sid Hiremutt. Aaron Stevenson and Ben Barter showed some neat touches, Captain Steve Clarke led by example and Tom Redman and James Grey were prominent in defence and attack.
It was hard day for the boys but by no means a disgrace. Next week we welcome Folkestone at Park Avenue.
Team: Barter, King, Clarke, Ring, Hiremutt, Stevenson, Pysden, Webb, Sinclair, Goldsmith, van Bentham, Mottram, Redman, Grey, Cousins, Warner, Imich.
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