Rugby lads in the spotlight for derby clash

Steve Clark is set to miss the Friday night clash against Seaford with a knee injury
Steve Clark is set to miss the Friday night clash against Seaford with a knee injury

Eastbourne Rugby Club will witness it’s first ever match under floodlights tonight (Friday) as they take on local rivals Seaford in the Sussex Spitfire Division one.

The Blue and Golds go in to the historic match in good form, having bounced back in style from their opening day defeat to Pullborough with back-to-back victories against Lewes and Rye, and they will be looking to continue in the same vain as they go in search of a third win in a row.

First team coach Mal Chumbley is hoping a good crowd will be there to witness the event and is relishing the chance to lead his team out under the lights.

But he is keen to remain focused on the task in hand, with the performance and result of paramount importance for a side with promotion aspirations.

“It’s a good experience for the players and we’re working really hard to make it enjoyable for everybody who comes along,” he said.

It doesn’t seem to happen too much anymore and it can be a real motivator for everybody but we don’t want to make it just a spectacle.

We still have to win and improve on what we’ve been doing. We have to make sure we don’t get caught up in the emotion and we need to concentrate on what we do on the pitch.”

Chumbley knows all about their opponents who have had a mixed start to the season, losing twice and winning once.

Eastbourne managed victories in both fixtures against Seaford last season, but with wholesale changes being made in the summer, they might yet prove a tough nut to crack. And they will have to do it with a slightly depleted squad. Steve Clark, who has been imperious at centre this season, will miss out because of a knee injury and Nick King faces a late fitness test on a potential muscle tear.

However, Chumbley has every confidence in his squad. “”We’ll probably have to do a bit more shuffling than we would have liked but we’re solid up front and we’ve got players who are adaptable throughout the squad.”

And there will be an extra incentive for the players that are selected to play with sponsors BMW offering a week in one of their cars as a prize for the man-of-the-match.

Kick-off: 7.30pm