Holbrook RUFC can take heart from pushing early Sussex 1 table-toppers Eastbourne all the way in Saturday’s tense 13-19 loss at North Heath Lane.
Up against a side which had scored 72 unanswered points the previous Saturday, Holbrook were detrmined not to be intimidated, and run the leaders close after a scoreless first half.
The home side had the better of the possession and territory but couldn’t work a way through the organised Eastbourne defence.
Eastbourne, in turn, squandered two gilt edged opportunities with a three man overlap only five metres out but failed to score.
The second half was a different game totally as Eastbourne started the brighter and if it wasn’t for great last ditch defending when the Eastbourne winger was over the line the scores could have been a lot different.
Eastbourne eventually broke through with a try in the corner, which was smartly converted - and that led to a flurry of scores as two more tries followed in quick succession. The second of thsose came in contentious circumstances, when an Eastbourne player appeared to knock-on as he touched down.
With 20 minutes left Holbrook needed a spark,and as Simon Ley and George Heron made their presence felt Nick Holt intercepted a pass on the halfway line to score under the posts to give the home team a lifeline.
Holt slotted a penalty moments later and the game changed dramatically. Holt scored again to complete a series of scores with a drop goal to bring the home to within six points with five minutes remaining - but sustained late pressure could not haul Holbrook level as Eastbourne held on to their advantage.