MAGNIFICENT CUP WIN FOR LEWES 2nd's
By Joel Evans
HELLINGLY II 5 LEWES II 25
Although their 1st XV are struggling to re-gain their start-of-season form, Lewes 2nd XV are still flying the flag for the Club, comfortably winning this local derby in the Sussex Bowl competition, putting them into the semi-final.
Lewes sped into an early 0 - 9 lead with 3 penalties in quick succession from outside Dan Billin after 7, 10 and 15 minutes respectively. On the half-hour, however, Lewes prop Alfie Hill was yellow-carded for offside and Hellingly took full advantage of the extra player by scoring the first try of the match some 8 minutes later from their No. 8, Harry Honeywell, the conversion missing, to narrow the margin to 5 - 9. But 14 -man Lewes hit back just before the half-time whistle , surging upfield before being awarded another penalty, in front of the posts, which Billin duly kicked over to see his side go in at the break with a 5 - 12 lead.
The opening period of the second half saw play go back and forth, Hellingly's attacks, mainly via their forward strength, being negated by disciplined - if not inspired - Lewes defence, with all players tackling to full effect. This gave the visitors confidence to continue to push forward, resulting in a fifth penalty against Hellingly for offside, Billin slotting over his fifth successful kick on the trot to see Lewes pull away at 5 - 15, and then, on 66 minutes, kicking over his sixth to go further ahead at 5 - 18.
Lewes were now playing the more controlled rugby and it was thus no surprise that 7 minutes from time, they scored an excellent try, their forwards winning the ball inside their own half before off-loading to scrum-half Tom Rourke who sprinted up the pitch for a try under the posts, Billin adding the extras, to pull away at 5 - 25. Although Lewes's Dex Vigar was yellow-carded on 76 minutes, this did not disrupt his side's dominance and they finished the match with a well-deserved victory after a magnificent, all-round display of rugby.
Of special note was the fact that scorers Tom Rourke and Dan Billin are cousins, and that the Lewes squad included two Under 20's players; three Under 19's; and two Under 18's, which augurs well for the future of one of Sussex's most loved sports Clubs.
Lewes: Hill, Cosimeti, Moore, Austin, Green, Stanger, Edmonds, Vigar, Rourke, Billin, Furlong, Whiting, Quinn, Austin, Nichols. (Reps., all used: Farr, Carr, Hutchings)
On Saturday, Lewes 1st's return to League duties with a tough away fixture at Bromley, while the 2nd's entertain Heathfield 3's at the Stanley Turner Ground, k.o. 2.00pm.