Promotion is looking unlikely for Mal’s boys

Eastbourne Rugby Club are “hurting” after four games without a win, according to coach Mal Chumbley.

The coach now wants to see a positive response ahead of their clash with Holbrook at Park Avenue in the Sussex Spitfire Division One this weekend.

League defeats by Crawley, Hove II and Brighton III mean their promotion hopes are no longer in their own hands, while their loss to Cranbrook in the Sussex RFU Vase brought their hopes of an extended cup run to a premature end.

“We’re hurting a bit and I am expecting to see a response from the players on Saturday,” Chumbley said. “We’re not functioning as we should be at the moment and it’s disappointing that we’ve been unable to kill games off.”

Some of the Second team players, who have performed well this season may be drafted in to the first team.

With promotion looking increasingly unlikely , Chumbley said he was hoping to consolidate their position for the rest of the season and wants to focus on building two strong, competitive sides.

The seconds currently top of their division and look on course for promotion to the league directly below the firsts and he thinks it will leave them in much better stead for a crack at promotion next season.

“If we can consolidate this year and the seconds get promoted it will put us in a great position next year”, he said.

Hollbrook are currently seventh in the league, three places and six points behind the Blue and Golds and come in to the game in great form, having won all of their last three fixtures at home to Lewes and Seaford and away at Rye.

Eastbourne narrowly edged both encounters between the two sides last season and Chumbley is hoping for a repeat performance this time round but realises there is little to choose between the two teams.

“They’re another club in our league that have had a difficult start but are now winning games. It will be tough as we are well matched.”