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Eastbourne Vs Hove

Eastbourne Vs Hove

Josh Buckwell16 Feb - 09:22
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On Saturday 10th February, Eastbourne welcomed Hove RFC to Park Avenue for their rearranged Sussex and Surrey Counties League 1 game.

On a grey and drizzly day both teams showed great adventure, attempting to play positive rugby despite the slippery conditions. Hove made great progress throughout by utilising their strong forward pack to run direct lines at the heart of the Eastbourne defense, whilst Eastbourne sought every opportunity to get the ball wide and bring their back line into play.

Eastbourne took an early lead after just 3 minutes when Captain Jake Howe converted a penalty after Hove strayed offside. There then followed a sustained period of Hove pressure with wave after wave of Hove forwards driving hard towards, and deep into the Eastbourne half. The Eastbourne defense held strong however before clearing their lines to make a rare early visit into Hove territory. Full-back Mason Dowe then fielded a clearance box kick inside his own half and launched a counterattack. He moved the ball to Dylan Viles who bounced off a couple of Hove defenders before linking with scrum half Brendon Challis who jinked his way forward towards the tryline before making the final try scoring pass to the ever-present Vince Morse in support. Howe converted to take Eastbourne into a 10 – 0 lead very much against the early run of play.

Hove responded strongly from the kick-off, once again using their forward power to drive deep into Eastbourne’s half. Following a charged-down goal line drop out, Hove were awarded a penalty, and, spurning the easy opportunity to take 3 points kicked for the corner. The Hove lineout, which functioned excellently all afternoon, and caused numerous problems to Eastbourne on their own throw-ins, successfully took the ball down, set up a driving maul and powered over the Eastbourne line from short range. The conversion was unsuccessful.

Play then ebbed and flowed with both sides attacking and defending well, before, on the stoke of half-time following some great interchange from the Eastbourne backs, wing Luca Bianchi went over for a try which Howe converted to make the half time score Eastbourne 17 Hove 5.

Eastbourne started the second half strongly with 2 tries in quick succession, one a-piece from both wings, Viles and Bianchi, Howe successfully converting the second to take Eastbourne into a more comfortable 29 – 5 lead. Hove however stuck to their task and responded with a try of their own following another powerful driving maul from a line-out to keep their hopes alive, although they were unable to convert and add the additional 2 points.

With both sides sticking to their admirable attempt to keep the game open and flowing, despite the slippery ball, Eastbourne eventually took the match beyond reach following another exciting passage of play when flanker Vince Morse crossed for his second try of the day, which again was converted by Captain Howe who rounded off another successful day with the boot.

Eastbourne were then forced to play out the final 10 minutes of the match with 14 players after receiving a red card for a high tackle. Hove, quick to capitalise on their numerical advantage, followed a period of sustained pressure on the Eastbourne line by crashing over in the dying minutes for a deserved third try to make the final score Eastbourne 36 – Hove 15.

Both sides should be congratulated for the manner in which the game was played, and for providing an entertaining and enjoyable spectacle for their supporters.

Hove nominated Aaron Hossack as their Man of the Match for Eastbourne for his kicking out of hand, however the Eastbourne coaches felt their Man of the Match was wing Gianluca Bianchi for his composure on the ball, great defensive efforts and his outstanding finishing for both his tries.

Following this result Eastbourne now sit 6th in the league with Hove close behind in 8th position.
Eastbourne’s next match is another home fixture on 17th February, kick-off 2.30pm, against visitors Old Walcountians. Get yourself down to Park Avenue and support The Bourne!
#Eastbourne #Eastbournerugby #yourclub #playforbourne #blueandgolds #supportlocal #sussexrugby #grassrootsrugby #stayinthefight #strongertogether

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