Another weekend of mixed fortunes

Sutton Coldfield 13 - 18 Worcester Wanderers

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2016 07:27am
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Sutton Coldfield 13 pts v Worcester Wanderers 18 pts

Midlands 1 West


Once again Sutton played all the good rugby in a close fought contest against an equally rated mid table team, who were just 1 point and 1 place above Sutton at the start of the day, with the home side scoring 2 excellent tries and a penalty (13pts)... but they lost out to 5 penalties and a drop goal, all scored by the Worcester Wanderers fly half Tom Biggs for a personal tally of 18 points, to inflict another narrow (13-18) defeat on the Sutton side, who had to content themselves with another losing bonus point, the 4th of the season and the belief that there are better things to come based on the quality of their overall play and the potential within the team. 

In a close contest, critical to the ambitions of both teams, the high penalty count especially in their own half counted heavily against Sutton and in the final count cost them the game but on the plus side Sutton's strong attacking play was positive and with the scrums and lineout play going well for much of the game, only their finishing let them down denying the home team a number of tries when handling errors and poor options cost them a certain score. However, on two occasions Sutton did show superb finishing skills when winger Miles Gregory gave a master class in how to score in the corner with restricted space plus determined opponents to deal with. 

The story of the game saw Worcester kick off in dry overcast conditions on a firm splendid looking pitch and the early pressure by the fired up visitors was well defended by Sutton during the opening exchanges. Ten minutes into the game Sutton launched a promising counter attack leading to a chip and chase foot race, which Sutton were winning through the pace of centre Nathan Burchell but the ball ran long and went over the dead ball line before the flying centre could reach it denying Sutton a just reward for their effort. 

With 20 minutes played and the game evenly balanced Tom Biggs landed the first of his five penalties when Sutton were penalised following a scrum on their 22, which they won but they then conceded a penalty at the breakdown as they tried to drive the ball out of their 22. However, Sutton responded well to the 3-0 deficit and following good attacking play by the home side Worcester were caught offside in midfield 25 metres from goal and Ben Morgan stepped up to level the scores at 3-3 with 15 minutes left to play to the break... but unfortunately Sutton were penalised as they received the ball at the restart and Tom Biggs restored the Worcester 3 point lead with a 30 metre penalty, which he then extended to 9-0 with a third penalty following a Sutton infringement at a ruck in the Sutton 22 with 7 minutes of the first half left to play . 

However, with half time fast approaching Sutton stormed back into the game with a break by centre Nathan Burchell, which took play deep into the Worcester 22. The elusive centre was stopped in mid-flight short of the try line but Sutton were quick to the breakdown and they picked-up the attack driving play to the left before swinging play back to the right wing with quick hands passing the ball on to right wing Miles Gregory, who beat the defenders and the touchline to squeeze in for a superb try in the right corner. Unfortunately the difficult touchline conversion drifted wide but Sutton went into the halftime break having closed the deficit to just 1 point at 8-9. 

With the game evenly balanced at the start of the second half Sutton came under immediate pressure in their 22 and although the home side defended strongly things went against them when, 5 minutes into the second period, they received a yellow card for use of hands in a ruck and Tom Biggs punished Sutton with his fourth penalty of the day to restore the visitors lead to 12-8. 

Raising their game 14 man Sutton held out well during the 10 minute sin bin period without conceding a further score and in fact threatened to score themselves with some good attacking play but the score remained at 12-8 until midway through the final period, when a penalty infringement by Sutton just inside their own half was marched forward 10 metres for speaking out of turn and the ball was kicked to touch on the Worcester left wing inside the Sutton 22... but once again Sutton were penalised at the lineout and Tom Biggs kicked the 30 metre penalty to open up a 7 point lead at 15-8 with 18 minutes left to play. 

Again with everything to play for Sutton stepped up their game applying sustained pressure in the Worcester half and their reward came with 4 minutes left to play when Sutton won a good scrum in midfield and the ball was swung left for centre Nathan Burchell to make a decisive break switching play towards the right wing. A perfectly timed pass sent winger Miles Gregory racing towards the try line and using his pace and guile the talented winger rounded the defenders to score an outstanding try in the corner. 

Again the attempted conversion drifted wide but with just minutes left to play the scores stood at a tantalising 13-15 setting up a dramatic conclusion to an enthralling contest. Following the restart Worcester rushed into the Sutton half determined not to let the game slip away and with Sutton under pressure and the referee playing advantage in the Sutton 22, Tom Biggs kicked a drop goal to seal the game at 13-18 with no way back for Sutton, who had to content themselves with another losing bonus point and the chance to reflect on their errors when developing a promising attack and the cost of the penalty count against them. 

On the plus side the game saw the superb finishing talents of winger Miles Gregory on clear display and gave Sutton a chance to welcome back flanker Rhoss Price, who made an impressive return to action from the bench following surgery on his shoulder during the summer. During his convalescence and recovery the frustrated flanker supported the team by performing the duties of water boy and kicking tee carrier with great efficiency and aplomb, also serving as touch judge when required so he will be missed by the support team on the touchline but his rightful place is definitely on the pitch.  

The game was also a last appearance for Kinsey Stoddard, who has been a regular for the Sutton 1st XV over the past two seasons and as Kinsey heads for the Southern hemisphere we thank him for his valued service at second row or flanker and wish him well whilst looking forward to his return in due course. 

This weekend Sutton travel to Whitchurch RFC in the Cheshire plain looking for a change in their fortunes and a chance to translate pressure and possession into points, which has eluded them in recent games. Whitchurch presently sit 1 point and 1 place above Sutton in the league table and the game promises to be another close and competive contest. Well worth the journey North. KO 2:15 pm.


Sutton other team results:


Sutton Development Side;


The Sutton Development side enjoyed two outings this last week with a mid-week evening fixture under flood lights at the RSG against a strong Walsall side, when the Sutton side lost a close contest 16-10 and then they progressed to the next round of the Warwickshire Second Team Cup after an impressive 27-18 victory over the Bedworth RFC 2nd XV on Sunday 30th Oct 2016.


Game 1 - Weds 26th Oct 2016:


In the highly entertaining evening match Sutton out scored the visitors by 2 tries to 1 but an additional conversion and 3 penalties took the game away from the home side. Both of the Sutton tries were scored by winger Luke Fleming, who showed outstanding pace and running skills as he rounded the opposition on each occasion to score excellent consecutive tries in the corner either side of halftime. The game saw the introduction of prop Colin Frost, who has recently joined Sutton having spent many seasons at Nuneaton Old Edwardians and Sutton were also pleased to welcome back talented fly half/utility back Ben Ollivier for his first appearance of the season having been unavailable due to the pressure of work over the past 12 months.  


The pattern of scoring saw Walsall take a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes but Sutton took the lead at 5-3 just before halftime with the first of the Luke Fleming brace, which was extended to 10-3 with the second Fleming try just after the break but Walsall levelled the scores at 10-10 with a push over try, which was converted from the touchline following a 5 metre scrum. With time running out Sutton conceded successive penalties to hand a 10-16 victory to the visitors after an entertaining contest and a most enjoyable evening.


Game 2 - Sun 30th Oct 2016:


The Warwickshire Cup game was played at Bedworth in good playing conditions and in a game which was untidy at times with mistakes madeby both sides, Sutton played enough good rugby to ease their way into the second round of the Warwickshire 2nd XV Team Cup with a solid 27-18 victory over a committed Bedworth 2nd XV. The Sutton tries were scored by Steve Marshall from a 10 metre lineout and a catch and drive to the try line, Luke Hennessy, who was on hand to complete the score following a chip and chase into Bedworth 22 and Dean Manion-Quinn, who raced through the Bedworth defence to score by the posts before Danny Bancroft at fly half completed a fine afternoon with an outstanding 40 metre run to the line for a great solo try to finish the game with a personal tally of 12 points including a try, 2 conversions and a critical 40 metre penalty, which stretched the Sutton lead from 6 points at 19-13 to 22-13 with 12 minutes to play before Bedworth scored a try to close to 22-18 to set up a dramatic finish. But the solo try by fly half Banco in the closing minutes of the enthralling contest made the game safe for Sutton and they progressed into the draw for the second round.


Sutton Colts:

The Colts lost 38-12 at home on Sunday to a good Old Halesonians side with the Sutton points coming from tries by Cameron Marriott and Jonah Falconer and a conversion by Will Smewin.

Sutton Women:

Charlie Byrne reports: “Sutton Women rounded off the weekend with a 45-10 win against Telford on Sunday with tries scored by Beth Rimmer Kent, Bethan Harris and Emily Jenkinson. 'Back' of the match as selected by Telford went to Emily Jenkinson, 'forward' of the match went to Olivia Bullmore-Dunn, Athena Jai had the pint on her behalf due to Olivia sustaining a head injury in the second half, get well soon Liv! Many Thanks to all the supporters who cheered the ladies on today!”


Match day photographs:


The following photographs feature players from the 1st XV game showing from left to right; Miles Gregory, who scored both of Sutton's excellent tries on Saturday and Rhoss Price (on the right), who made a welcome return to the game after successful shoulder surgery in the summer and the talented flanker was pleased to return to action on the field after supporting the team at every game this season fulfilling the vital role of team cheerleader and proving to be a highly effect water boy and custodian of the kicking tee. His playing talents will be appreciated by the team but his support from the touchline, which included running touch when required will be greatly missed. 



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