Hellingly secure league title after emphatic Hastings win

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Hellingly crushed Hastings & Bexhill II to claim a league and cup double in style. Hellingly scored eight tries in a dominant display which typified their performances this season.

Both teams started frantically, conceding penalties in a disjointed start, before Jack Smith completed a fine move to score a try to give Hellingly a five-point advantage after 25 minutes.

Hastings converted a penalty which seemed to galvanise Hellingly and Charlie Milner grounded the ball in the corner for their second try. A quick response from Hastings saw them score another penalty before Hellingly’s superiority shone through before half time.

First, David Searle converted a Mark Harris try from the result of a rolling maul. Hastings conceded a penalty and picked up a yellow card as Hellingly began to dominate. Hellingly backs Ian Padgett and Tom Manktelow added tries to make the score 30-6 at half time.

Dave Sands then scored two breakaway tries with two interceptions before running 60 yards to further increase the Hellingly lead. The scoring was completed with another rolling maul, giving Hellingly an overwhelming 49–6 advantage.

The game finished on a sour note with tensions rising on both sides yet this failed to take the shine of a marvellous performance and achievement for Hellingly, who were crowned league and cup champions.

Eastbourne Rugby Club were without a game last Saturday. They are next in action on April 14 when they travel to Sheppey for a London South East division three clash. The Blue and Golds are bottom of the table following Crawley’s expulsion from the league.

RIGHT: Hellingly’s Tom Manktelow in action during the league-clinching victory against Hastings & Bexhill seconds