UNDER-STRENGTH LEWES LOSE HEAVILY TO BROMLEY
By DERECK Wade
BROMLEY 68 LEWES 10
Lewes's recent slump continued on Saturday as as their team - weakened by the unavailability of some 30 players due to injuries and other commitments - lost a one-sided match to a strong Bromley side, the result seeing the Sussex team slide even closer to the relegation zone.
Although, in the circumstances, a defeat was always likely to be the outcome (even against a side whom Lewes defeated convincingly earlier in the season), the margin of the final score was not helped by an initial high penalty count in favour of the Kent side, and with two of their early tries following obvious knock-ons which the referee failed to spot. It took the hosts only 4 minutes to open the scoring at 7 - 0 , when second-row Baker touched down under the posts for the opening try, converted by No. 10 Griffiths. Their second try came 6 minutes later when - with the Lewes pack under pressure - No. 8, Saunders drove over from the base of a scrum, Griffiths adding the extras to go further ahead at 14 - 0.
But one minute later, Lewes were awarded their first penalty for a Bromley off-side, which debutant outside-half Dan Billin, kicked over from long range to close the gap to 14 - 3.
Bromley responded with their third , but unconverted, try after 25 minutes, Saunders going over for his second try to widen the gap to 19 - 3.
Two more Bromley tries followed, one by left-winger Lewis, the other by outside-centre Laws, both converted by Griffiths, to see the hosts stretch out to 33 - 3.Lewes, to their credit, never caved in and five minutes from the half-time whistle were rewarded with a fine try in the corner following a bullocking run from left-winger Tom Petty, Billin converting from out wide, to add some respectability to the score at 33 - 10. Bromley, however, had other ideas and pulled away once more with a try from their hooker, Hughton, Griffiths converting,to go in at the break with a healthy, unassailable 40 - 10 lead.
Although Bromley dominated the second half, this was no doubt assisted by yet more injuries to several Lewes players, resulting in the rest of the match being played with uncontested scrums and with Lewes having to reduce their side to 14 players as a result.
Bromley added to their tally with 4 more tries from Laws, Lowe, Saunders and Wright, Griffiths converting all four, to finish the match with a bonus-point 68 - 10 victory.
The only consolations for Lewes were that they maintained their fighting spirit for the whole of the 80 minutes, and still managed to make several impressive attacking runs, due in no small part to the impressive displays by the several young players who had been called up from the 2nd XV at short notice.
Lewes are without a game on Saturday due to the 6 Nations Tournament commencing that day, their next League encounter being on at home to Old Dunstonians on 9th.February, k.o. 2.30 pm. Lewes hope that, by then, they will have returned to full strength and that their latest run of bad luck comes to an end.
Lewes: Williams, Moule (Capt.), Sayers, Cowling, Gorbell, Edmonds, Robinson, Melloni, Rourke, Billin, Hampel, Whiting, Shiell, Petty, Roberts (reps., both used: Bacha, Furlong).