Blue and Golds end with brave defeat

Tom Redman
Tom Redman

A hard fought game ended the 2014 league season for two good sides.

Pulborough earned their promotion and maintained a full season`s unbeaten record; Eastbourne know that the game was far closer than the score suggested and that they gave their opponents a battle to remember.

However, they were just half a second slower to the breakdown every time and consequently, the Black and White hoops dominated the ruck and maul. It was a day when the strong westerly wind, combined with the slope of the pitch gave a 40 minute advantage to each side.

The visitors had the conditions in their favour from the kick off and quickly showed why they have had such a successful season. The Blue and Golds had to endure a torrid 15 minutes putting in so many tackles that spectators lost count. Inevitably the breach occurred on 20 minutes when the Pulborough flanker crossed after numerous incursions.

0-7 down as half time approached looked to be a manageable deficit but the crucial moment of the game occurred on the half hour when an inexplicable defensive error let the visitors in for the simplest of tries. Heads could so easily have dropped at that point; instead following some fine work by Mottram and Bettles, the line beckoned only for Nick King to be denied by a last ditch tap tackle. Pulborough regained the momentum and managed two further scores before the interval to turn around leading by 24 points. With the elements in their favour, the second half was all Eastbourne. Skipper Tom Redman scored a well deserved try after just five minutes of play; this was converted by Stefan Cousins. Time and again Eastbourne pressed forward; indeed Pulborough had to play the entire 40 minutes in their own half but their defence was monumental.

Skeet came close more than once; Redman so nearly got his second and Max Cheater crossed at pace only to be held up by a Pulborough forward who prevented him from touching down.

So Pulborough return to the London leagues; Eastbourne end with a fine record and much to be proud of.

Eastbourne: Eyre, Bettles, Keen, Chilvers, Mottram, Redman, Hayllar, Skeet, Newtopn, Cousins, King, King, Cheater, Sage, Linscott, Webb, Bowry, Bettles

MoM; James Newton at scrum half