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Bromsgrove 36 v 10 Sutton Coldfield

National League 3 Midlands

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2015 12:47pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Sutton's mixed season of success and failure continued into the new year with a disappointing defeat at Bromsgrove, who were relegated from National 2 last season but the home side put on a strong show in this National 3 fixture to inflict a 36-10 defeat on their visitors with a bonus point victory to move into fifth spot in the league leaving an out of sorts Sutton rooted in 10th place.
Once again the damage was done in the opening minutes of the game when two quick scores on 2 minutes and 8 minutes respectively left Sutton trailing 14-0 and although Sutton responded bravely their normal fluency deserted them with basic handling errors and simple mistakes costing them possession and territory as they desperately chased the game with forced passes and an urgency that lacked control.
Misfortune also played its part at the start of the game, with Sutton's inspirational skipper Fraser Tait having to withdraw from the game on Saturday morning with influenza touching on pneumonia keeping him in his sick bed and then the opening score was given as a penalty try when Bromsgrove put in a grubber kick, which was rolling towards the try line when the pursuing players fell over each other as they converged on the ball as it crossed the try line but Sutton were harshly judged to have tackled the man without the ball and a penalty try awarded, which was converted by Bromsgrove fullback Jon Critchlow for a 7-0 lead after 2 minutes of play.
Bromsgrove's second try was well worked from a lineout on their right wing 35 metres out. The ball was taken on by no 8 Phil Horton who fed right wing Thomas Hunt to score in the corner and an excellent touchline conversion by Critchlow left Sutton reeling at 14-0 after just 8 minutes of play.
The game ebbed and flowed for the next 20 or so minutes with the Sutton pack holding up well in the scrums, rucks and mauls but the Sutton lineout faltered, not helped by late changes in the pack and Sutton were unable to inflict a score on their opponents in spite of producing some promising chances... but with halftime approaching Bromsgrove extended their lead to 17-0 with a Critchlow penalty on 30 minutes and then 2 minutes before the break replacement Dave Lewis raced in for a try converted by Critchlow for a 24-0 lead but on the stroke of half time Sutton pulled 3 points back with a 35 metre penalty by Sutton fly half Alex White when Bromsgrove were penalised in midfield for not releasing.
Sutton made a bright start to the second half and were rewarded when winger Andy Tovey, returning from a long term injury, marked his return with a try on the left touchline after a quick tap penalty in the Bromsgrove 22 fed the ball quickly to the ace finisher. Alex White added the difficult conversion for 24-10 after 17 minutes of the second half but that's as good as it got for Sutton and Bromsgrove closed out the game on 32 minutes and 38 minutes with consecutive tries by props David Hughes and then fellow prop Jonathan Malings, who were driven over the try line following successive rolling mauls.
Fullback Jonathan Critchlow converted one of the tries with the second rebounding off the upright for a final score line of 36-10.
However, during a difficult game there was enough good play by Sutton, who beat Bromsgrove at home in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, to suggest that Sutton are not far off recovering their sparkle, with a return to winning ways starting this weekend when Old Halesonians are the visitors at the RSG, Walmley Road this weekend. KO 2.15.

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