A sodden pitch and unrelenting sleet ensured that only the forwards were able to keep warm; mistakes were evident on both sides and the game was always going to be won by the narrowest of margins.
It was Holbrook who started the brightest, forcing Eastbourne onto the back foot in the early exchanges. With the visiting Nos. 8 and 9 linking well, it took some resolute defence in the first quarter to keep the score sheet clean. Eastbourne hardly helped themselves by conceding too many penalties and giving away whatever advantage they were able to get. Little by little however, the home back row were able to win 50/50 ball particularly when the standing groundwater belied the natural bounce and flow of the game. Perhaps it was this effort that coach Chumbley sought more of in his half time talk because the second half was all Eastbourne.
Time and time again the efforts of the home pack were able to drive the Holbrook players backwards; despite this the scoreboard remained neutral. Eventually Holbrook had to concede and it came after 20 minutes when scrum half Aitkenhead took a quick tap penalty and full back James Couthard was able to slide over in the corner. It was not a day for kicking but when Eastbourne were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, Nathan Ring made no mistake and put the hosts ahead by two scores. Further pressure kept the visitors in their own 22 and the result never looked in doubt from this point on. Andy Curtis in the back row foraged tirelessly and was rewarded with the man-of-the-match award.
Eastbourne: Barron, Bettles, Webb, Chilvers, Mottram, Redman, Curtis, Turner, Aitkenhead, Cousins, Sage, Ring, King, Fenner, Coulthard, Keen, Light, Stevenson.