Strong finish to 2011 is a reason for hope

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Eastbourne Rugby Club will be hoping three morale boosting performances at the end of last year can help propel them up the table in 2012.

The Blue and Golds endured a testing year in 2011. They have won just one fixture of their London South East three campaign and sit second from bottom in the league standings.

But despite some heavy beatings, most notably the 94-0 loss to Crowborough, morale at the club has remained high and they approach 2012 with optimism.

Their last three performances were a huge improvement. They secured their first victory of the season in a muddy battle at bottom of the league Crawley and were desperately unlucky to lose their follow-up match 13-11 at Uckfield.

Prior to the Crawley game a last ditch penalty denied them a battling victory at home to Park House where the Blue and Golds lost 9-7.

Tomorrow ( Saturday) Roger Stanley’s men will welcome Horsham to Park Avenue and victory over their fourth placed Sussex rivals would represent a huge confidence boost for 2012.

Particularly with a visit to third from bottom Bromley coming up in two weeks. A game Eastbourne must surely win if they are to have a realistic hope of avoiding relegation this year.

Relegation rivals Bromley and Crawley open 2012 with a clash against each other and a win for Crawley would represent a good result for Eastbourne if they can claim victory against Horsham and follow that with another win at Bromley.

Leaders Crowborough begin the New Year at midtable Park House.

Eastbourne seconds travel to Pulborough tomorrow.