It was a disastrous and costly weekend for Hellingly Rugby Club as they suffered a heavy defeat to Shoreham, gifted Hastings a place in the cup final while picking five more injuries in a squad already down to its bare bones.
Hellingly were expected to play a re-arranged league game on the Saturday and the re-arranged cup semi-final on the Sunday. With the current injury count, the task was always going to be huge.
The weekend started with a trip to Shoreham for a game that started brightly on a bitterly cold day with both sides exchanging big hits in midfield - an early indication that both sides were going to play open. Shoreham seized upon uncertainty out wide to record the opening score 5-0. Hellingly came back and, after strong play through the pack, the ball was moved for Chairman Luke Davis to bag a try, converted by Dave Searle for 5-7.
The game became very ‘cat and mouse’ and the score remained the same, although injuries to Richard Collierand combative number seven Miles had robbed Hellingly of options.
The second half saw a determined assault by Shoreham and Hellingly’s resistance was broken with a brace of tries by Shoreham for 19-7. Hellingly having lost pack leader Ian Richardson and the powerful Matt Honeyball countered strongly for a Ben Trevorrow try in the corner 19-12.
The contest was reduced to uncontested scrums from further injuries and with the pack consisting of no less than four backs, Shoreham bossed the tight game and dashed Hellingly’s hopes of honours this season with three further tries and a 36-12 final scoreline.
Hellingly compounded a dreadful weekend with withdrawing from the cup because of a lack of fit players.
Hellingly will need a victory at league leaders Crawley I on Saturday if they’re to keep their title hopes alive.