This was an extremely important match for both sides as they look to earn valuable wins in their first season in the league, following promotion for both last season. Eastbourne started the stronger and attacked well for the first 20 minutes, forcing an early penalty, followed by a try and conversion, all with in 6 minutes and all scored by captain Jake Howe, who had another good day at the office, particularly with the boot. The home side missed two more opportunities that they normally would have taken, which would have extended the lead and been reflective of the early pressure. Grinstead eventually woke up and started to get into the game and built a lot a phases and controlled the tempo of the game, clearly looking to slow the speed of it down. They forced two penalties and probably deserved more out of the second quarter of the game, before Dylan Viles crossed just before half time and extended the lead to 15-6 at the break. East Grinstead started stronger in the second half and had long spells of dominance, where as Eastbourne looked frustrated at times, but kept to the defensive plan, before Grinstead crossed on 55 minutes to narrow the game to 4 points, the Grinstead goal kicker certainly had his rangefinder on and kicked superbly. Both sides traded two penalties each before East Grinstead scored a try again, following a very sloppy 10 minutes from the home side, the score now 21-24 and the score did change hands 6 times in the last 15 minutes, before Konrad O'neil crossed from short range, with a powerful pick and go, as the home side had a long spell of possession, following a yellow card and a couple of penalties, to put them in range to launch a final attack. As the conversion was kicked and missed, the final whistle blew and Eastbourne won by 2 points, 26-24, in a very tough encounter. Owen Davies was awarded MOM after playing out of position on the open side of the scrum, a good display in the lineout and solid work rate around the park, he also showed he can be dominant in the tackle which has been missing at times this season compared to last. Eastbourne now sit 5th in the table, on 4 wins, 4 loses and 1 draw, but do face undefeated Teddington away next time out. The 2nd team produced a fine performance away against Steyning first team, which resulted in a 17 - 33 win for Eastbourne. The development side (third team) narrowly lost 7-14 to a strong Seaford side in a well contested game. The first team had a few injuries this week so it tested the squad depth, but the club still managed to get over 60 players game time this weekend and produce 2 out of 3 wins. The club house was also a sell out for lunch, which produced a very large home crowd, not put off by the weather. A great day for our club.
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