Hove vs. Medway (A)
Hove go down fighting to top of the league.
Hove vs. Medway (A)
With Medway having been relegated from London 1 South last year due to financial irregularities and convincingly winning their first two league games it was always going to be a tough ask for Hove.
Hove kicked off with a strong breeze behind them. Medway attacked from deep, but wave after wave of attack was met by solid Hove defence. After forcing the knock on, Hove were pushed back in the scrum by the far bigger Medway front row. Credit to the Hove tight five though who stuck to their task all afternoon. Medway opened the scoring through a penalty and then got their first try of the afternoon out wide after multiple phases led to an overlap. A second try followed after a neat grubber kick was collected by the Medway winger; 15-0.
Hove struggled to get any real phases together in the first half and at times were guilty of trying to force the pass. Rob Biggs was also sent to the sin bin for not retreating 10 after a quick tap penalty. Medway scored two further tries before half time, both converted as Hove trailed 29-0 at the break.
Hove however raced out the traps after half time and showed their attacking threat. Phil Dugard managed to free his arms from the tackle to offload to the supporting Sam Whiting. He found Will Walker who was tackled just short of the line, but was able to pop the ball off the ground to the supporting Martin Dawson. Phil Dugard just pushing the conversion wide; Hove 5 Medway 29.
Another fine attack from deep inside Hove’s half was thwarted just before the Medway line. Ryan Morlen timed his pass for Sam Whiting to burst through the Medway centres; he drew the full back and found Will Walker who in turn found the workhorse that is Luke Torres on his shoulder, however he was dragged down just short.
A further Medway converted try and penalty increased the lead to 39-5 before a neck injury to Martin Dawson forced the game to be moved onto the second team pitch. (Martin returned to the rugby club that evening and is in good shape with no lasting damage).
With the game moved, Hove conceded a sloppy try after some weak defence; 46-5. Credit to Hove though as they rallied in the final ten minutes and scored two converted tries. The first came after a big tackle from Sam Whiting forced a fumble which was picked up by Rob Ward. He found the supporting Will Walker to go under the sticks. The second came after some great phases by the Hove forwards. Sam Whiting found the impressive Guy Patton on his inside shoulder to go in under the posts. Both tries were converted by Rob Biggs.
Final score 46-19, but there were some monumental defensive performances from Guy Patton in midfield and Declan Peake at hooker with the former just shaving the man of the match.
Next week Hove return to the Rec for the official opening of the new pitches against Crowborough.
Hove: Maguire, Peake, Wallace, Saunders, Imasuen, Dawson, Ward, Torres, Biggs, Dugard, Walker, Patton, Morlen, Garrish, Whiting © Subs: Knott and Macdonald.