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Rugby club better but still beaten
Eastbourne Rugby Club played its final home league game against high-flying Aylesford Bulls with a much-improved performance compared despite losing 18-41.
The Blue and Golds led going into the last quarter, only to visibly tire and concede four late tries courtesy of some electric running by the Bulls wide men.

Had Rick Walshaw's men taken three try scoring opportunities in the first half when theyADVERTISEMENThad the advantage of the slope and a strong wind they might have created an upset.

The front row commanded the scrums whilst the pack as a whole won several turn-overs at the rucks; the forwards did less well in the line outs where the Bulls had the advantage.

The backs defence was a great improvement until the last quarter when they gifted two of the four tries scored during that period.

Eastbourne started well and created a number of chances but points were restricted to a penalty goal by Nathan Ring playing at No.8 and a 35 metre drop goal by centre James Coulthard after picking up a loose kick out. The Bulls retaliated with a well constructed try and excellent conversion to take a 67 lead.

Fly half Danny Craven then scored a carbon copy drop goal to Coulthard's effort to restore the host's lead to 97.

Eastbourne had another opportunity when following an advantage Coulthard made a characteristic breakthrough only to be stopped a metre from the Bulls posts, Nathan Ring was just wide when kicking the ensuing penalty but soon made amends when the Bulls held on in a great tackle by wing Matt Latham and Ring converted the penalty, 127.

Then full back Steve Clark produced a good surge down the Bulls right flank, he was held illegally in the tackle and Ring was on target with his third penalty to take the score to 157 at half time.

As the teams turned round it was felt that Eastbourne should have and probably needed to accumulate more points they did.

However, the Blue & Golds started brightly carrying the ball up the pitch with Tim Williams replacing Mark King on the left wing.

The Bulls and then the Blue & Golds scored penalties, with Ring claiming his fourth successful kick, to produce a 1810 scoreline.

Bulls' centre was fortunate to be only yellow carded for violent conduct whilst Danny Craven suffered the same fate for a high tackle.

The Bulls then converted another penalty to reduce the gap to 1813. Poor covering and a poor defensive kick let in the Bulls for their second try which with the conversion gave them an 1820 lead.

Andy Price replaced the excellent Adam Flude at prop but as the home players tired the pace of the Bulls backs became conclusive as three tries were run in and converted in 10 key moments for the visitors to take a convincing 1841 points lead at the whistle.

The Bulls left wing, Mark Beaumont, had a field day, scoring two tries and not missing any of his kicks at goal.

EASTBOURNE: Flude, Mills, Stevenson, Tobin, Thomas, Curtis, Redman, Ring, Craven, Pysden (captain), King, Coulthard, Hunt, Latham, Clark, Price, Spires, Williams.
MOM: The Captain's choice was relative newcomer Andy Curtis at blind side flanker.

The full article contains 554 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
08 April, 2009

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