Superb Blue and Golds run home nine tries

Tom Redman
Tom Redman

Eastbourne Rugby Club bounced back from last week’s disappointment at Seaford to achieve a pleasing record score over Rye without conceding.

The visitors never had any answer to the pace of Matt Stevenson, Linscott and Tom Redman, and the nine tries scored were no less than the team deserved.

From a 3-0 lead, the pack drove Chris Chilvers over to establish early superiority but it was the second quarter when Eastbourne turned the screw and scored a further five tries.

Within the space of 20 minutes, scrum half and man-of-the-match Matt Stevenson scored his second hat trick of the season, his first try being an exceptional solo effort.

Picking up on halfway, he chipped over the Rye defence and followed up to gain the bounce of the ball and allowed his speed to do the rest.

The efforts of Skeet and Redman helped him to his second and third.

Between Stevenson’s tries, a clever kick ahead by No.10 Stefan Cousins allowed Max Cheater to cross under the posts for his first of the match.

Despite being reduced to 14 men when Nick King was adjudged to have committed a technical offence, the home side maintained the pressure to dominate right up to the half-time whistle, when they had a lead of 39-0 after Liam Eyre and Redman’s excellent work assisted Jack Linscott.

Substitutions were made by coach Chumbley for the second half and a fine score put Matt Baldwin on the board after only five minutes.

Trailing by 40 points and themselves down to 14 as a result of a yellow card, Rye`s frustration let them down.

Their hooker was given a red card for abusing the referee and, following a mass brawl, they were lucky not to have been reduced further. Meanwhile, the home side tried to remain focussed and, although they lost the momentum to some extent, two further tries sealed the win.

A clever inside pass by Eyre allowed substitute Aaron Stevenson to burst through and then, nearing the final whistle, Cheater got his second following good work by winger Nick King.

Five conversions and a well struck penalty from the boot of fly half Cousins demonstrated a major improvement in kicking from the tee.

Club chairman Fraser Brooks was full of praise for the significant progress that sees Eastbourne comfortably in fourth place, and everybody will hope this form can be maintained when 10th-placed Crowborough visit Park Avenue next week.

Eastbourne: Eyre; Bettles; Webb; Chilvers; Hayllar; Redman; Curtis; Skeet; Stevenson M; Cousins; King; Baldwin; Cheater; Slaughter; Linscott; Wyatt; Funnell; Stevenson A.

Man-of-the-match Scrum half Matt Stevenson