Chichester eased to a comfortable victory against bottom of the table Reading to secure full points in a crucial lower league clash for the Blues.

An early double from hooker Richard Ives helped to secure a first half bonus point before Chichester stormed on to a 52-21 win.

Winger Joel Andrews also helped himself to a hat trick of tries as the Blues look up the table and increase the gap on those below them.

Chichester kicked off and capitalised early on the windy conditions by pinning Reading in their own red zone, writes Simon Tanner.

The Argus: Elliot Haydon with the ballElliot Haydon with the ball (Image: Pony Moore)

Rather than clear with the boot the visitors played the ball across their backline where an interception ended with Andrews finishing in the corner within the first minute.

After conceding a penalty from the first scrum of the match, Reading handed the Blues a raft of territory through their own infringement.

Having secured the lineout, Ives dotted down at the back of Chichester’s maul for the second score of the day.

Chichester pressed their advantage immediately after taking the restart and handing the ball to full back Tom Blewitt.

Blewitt sliced through the defence and turned on the afterburners to race for 45m, handing the ball off to Josh Stops for the simple score under the posts.

Reading kicked into action and brought pressure to Chichester who were pushed onto the back foot for much of the next 20 minutes.

The visitors forced a series of penalties from the Chichester defence and helped themselves to a converted try and two penalties to nearly level the scores.

However, the Blues swung momentum back in their favour when scrum half Stops released Blewitt for another blistering run. A steal by Zac Conley at the lineout piled the pressure onto Reading and Richard Ives once again dotted down at the back of the maul for the bonus point try.

Chichester were immediately under pressure from the restart through more penalties and Reading pummelled the try line defence with pick and goes to finally batter through for their second try of the day.

With a player in the sin bin Chichester continued to dig deep and secured a lineout deep in enemy territory.

Tight head Josh Brown nearly added his name to the scoresheet but the ball was spun to Charlie Davies who broke two tackles to score under the posts.

On 62 minutes, flyhalf Elliot Haydon broke from halfway and deep into Reading’s 22 against the visitor’s scrambling defence.

The Argus: Josh StopsJosh Stops (Image: Pony Moore)

An offload to Joel Andrews saw him add his second for the day to widen the margin to nearly 20 points.

From there it only took the Blues just six minutes to increase their lead after releasing their backline from an attacking lineout.

Haydon stepped his way through a gap in the Reading defence to dot down under the posts with the game comfortably in hand.

With less than 2 minutes left Chichester found themselves defending a scrum on their own 5m line. Despite Reading’s earlier dominance in the tight, they conceded a freekick and a wind-assisted kick from Haydon eventually released Tom Blewitt who hit contact and allowed Andrews to nip in for his hat trick in the corner.

Chichester secured a vital five points as they distance themselves from Reading at the bottom of the table. They now look towards another lower-league clash at Wimborne in a fortnight.

Full results for Sussex:

  • Worthing 29 Westcombe Park 26
  • Brighton 22 Camberley 24
  • Horsham 45 Bournemouth 3
  • Eastbourne 34 Kingston 24
  • Hove 20 KCS Old Boys 24
  • Bognor 14 Andover 49
  • Chichester II 0 Sandown and Shanklin 102
  • Crowborough 12 Bromley 38
  • Heathfield and Waldron 64 Cranbrook 5
  • Rye 107 Medway IV 0
  • Brighton II 34 Seaford 24
  • Crawley 9 Uckfield 8
  • Shoreham 30 Pulborough 21
  • Worthing Azurians 55 Burgess Hill 17
  • Ditchling 25 Horsham Barbarians 7
  • Eastbourne II 24 Hove III 10
  • Lewes 28 Jersey Royals 10
  • East Grinstead II 10 Crowborough II 7
  • Heathfield and Waldron II 3 Newick 48
  • Littlehampton 52 Holbrook 12
  • Midhurst 45 St Francis 26
  • Haywards Heath II 40 Crawley II 0
  • Pulborough II 29 Bognor III 54

Walkover wins:

  • East Grinstead v Old Cranleighans
  • Barns Green vs Steyning
  • St Leonards v Crowborough III