WHITEWASH FOR LEWES IN STICKY CONDITIONS
By DERECK Wade
LEWES 0 CROWBOROUGH 40
In appalling conditions, Lewes went down to one of their heaviest home defeats in recent years as they were outplayed by a superior Crowborough outfit who sit firmly top of the League table with a good chance of promotion at the end of the season.
The visitor's advantage up front paid off early as they surged forward to within striking distance of Lewes's try line and were rewarded after only 5 minutes with a penalty try for a series of forwards' infringements by the hosts, seeing Crowborough open the scoring at
0 - 7. The next half-hour saw scrappy play from both sides as they struggled to come to terms with the slippery playing surface, but a few minutes from the break, Crowborough's No. 8 Harrison Chapman scored a push-over try, converted by his fly-half, Connor Hand, to go further ahead at 0 - 14, with the influential Hand then scoring a try of his own under the posts, which he also converted, to see Crowborough turn round with a healthy 0 - 21 advantage.
This was extended to 0 - 26 in the second half when centre Will Creasey touched down for an unconverted but bonus -point fourth try, and then another Lewes unforced error saw the ball fall into the hands of Crowborough's No. 13, Gary Stevens, who scored a long- range try, converted by Hand, to pull away at 0 - 33.
With the end of the match approaching, a dispirited Lewes side were unable to prevent Stevens breaking though desperate home defence to score his second try, with Hand's conversion making the final score 0 - 40.
Lewes now have a welcome break until their next League fixture in the New Year on 5th. January, away to Kent-based side Vigo, k.o. 2.00pm.
Lewes: Bacha, Moule (Capt.), Edwards, Vigar, Evans, Millis-Ward, Robinson, Hewitt, Taylor, Pitts, B.Shiell, Booth, H.Shiell, Feltham, Hanley. (reps., all used - Rainier, Gorbell)
And so ends the first half of a long season for Lewes, who's bright early start was soon disrupted with injuries to influential flanker Matt Blunt and Club Captain Dan Wade which have forced them to retire from the game altogether.
Lewes 2nd's home game against East Grinstead was abandoned in the second half due to deteriorating conditions, with the visitors leading by 0 - 37.
In the Clubhouse after the match, former Lewes player Tom Bowen (pictured) presented his England Rugby 7's shirt to Dan Wade. Tom began his rugby career at Lewes as a Mini, Junior, Colt and 1st XV player before turning professional and then becoming a squad member of England's very successful 7's side. His father, Gareth, also played for Lewes, as did Alan Mitchell - father of Tom's England captain, Tom Mitchell.
Lewes RFC would like to wish all their supporters, players, Sponsors and friends a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.