Blue & Golds closer to title glory after win

Eastbourne and Worthing do battle - picture: Maria Szekelyhidi
Eastbourne and Worthing do battle - picture: Maria Szekelyhidi
  • Eastbourne blast Worthing after free flowing display
  • Burgess Hill suffer defeat at Brighton second
  • Chairman Brooks selects Matt Pysden as man of the match

On a glorious spring-like afternoon at Hampden Park, Eastbourne recorded a bonus-point win over Worthing and came one step closer to capturing the league title.

Eastbourne look to be on the cusp of promotion from Sussex One. Victory of Worthing coupled with the news, after the match, that second place Burgess Hill had suffered defeat away to Brighton Seconds, handing the Park Avenue club a four-point gap with a game in hand.

Unlike previous games, the conditions and playing surface favoured the Blue and Golds who dominated play until the last five minutes.

With four games to go, they certainly look like a side who can hold their own in the London leagues once again. Fast, fluid rugby is now synonymous with Eastbourne and the loyal spectators will be hoping that the side can remain injury free towards the end of season.

The game started with skipper Steve Clark showing how to tackle when he put in an immense hit in the first few minutes. The pack were able to start where they finished the previous week and within 10 minutes, Eastbourne were two tries to the good.

The first resulted from a heel against the head in the scrum and the second followed a line-out secured by Tom Redman. In both cases, James Coulthard, playing at centre was the recipient of the scoring pass.

Further scintillating passages of play were only marred by inaccurate final passing and it was left to lock forward Gavin Farley to score the third try following and a rolling maul that covered a 20 metre distance down the touchline. 15-0 at half time to the home side.

Within two minutes of the restart Matt Pysden took a quick tap penalty, Charlie Smith so nearly reached the line and from the resulting scrum, Tom Redman broke to put winger Nick King over for his first score.

By this time the pack were rampant, with the fresh legs of substitutes making a big difference. The introduction of Keen, Mottram and Bettles gave greater impetus than ever and it was no surprise when Van Bentham got just rewards for his hard work, 25-0 to Eastbourne.

Worthing deserved a try of their own following their number eights charge but were perhaps harshly adjudged to warrant a yellow card after half an hour. With only 14 men on the field, their ability to defend was sorely tested and King scored his second after great work by Matt Webb.

Similarly, it was Matt Mottram whose efforts gave Charlie Smith five points, with five minutes left it seemed that Worthing would leave for home with a solitary score.

However the setting sun made life very difficult for the home back three, the high ball was an obvious tactic, and two errors were seized on by the visitors who were able to rack up 14 points in a golden final spell.

Candidates for man-of-the-match included Clark and Redman but club chairman Fraser Brooks awarded it to scrum half Matt Pysden for his go-to performance

Eastbourne: Imich, Sinclair, Webb, Farley, Van Bentham, Cousins, Redman, Hibben, Pysden, McKay, King, Clark, Couthard, Smith, Stevenson, Keen, Bettles, Mottram