RUGBY: St Francis 2nds fall short in Hove thriller

St Francis Rugby v Holbrook SUS-171220-133419001
St Francis Rugby v Holbrook SUS-171220-133419001

St Francis 2nd XV kicked off their season with a narrow loss away to Hove 3rds in an entertaining match that wasn’t marred by the terrible weather.

Hove were quick to get under their opposition’s posts in the first five minutes but the Friars retaliated with a fantastic try when Barron went tearing down the blindside off a scrum and caught the Hove defence napping.

The game was much steadier after that until Hove broke through the Saints defence to get on the scoreboard before half-time.

In the second half the Friars’ discipline allowed their opposition to dictate the game and after Brendan Mallett was sin-binned Hove scored again and this time converted.

The Friars fought back to get one more try bringing the scoreline to 20-10 and it seemed like they were ready for more only for the referee’s whistle to blow.

Captain Alex Minnis said: “We are disappointed with the result because we knew we threw the game away with ill-discipline.

“But we know exactly what went wrong and how to fix it and that is the most important thing.

“I am delighted that once again the Friars have got their development team out on the park for their 12th game this season which is a great sign of where the club is going and growing.

“This season will be learning curve and the more games we get to play the better we can become.

“We are always interested in players of any ability joining us so do get in touch.”

Jack Vearney put in another man of the match performance as he continues to learn his trade in the backrow after joining the club only three months ago.

Elsewhere veteran Guy Minnis put in strong display and the team welcomed back the likes of Brendan Mallett and Grant Lashley.

The Friars face Crowborough 3s at home this weekend (January 13) while their 1st XV travel away to Midhurst.

St Francis 2nds: Eastman, Bawden, Sparkes, G.Minnis, Etherington, Veaney, Mallett, Barron, Hand, A.Minnis (captain), Dalton, Lashley, Harper, Pique, Graves