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Confidence Boosting Win for SCRFC

Sutton Coldfield 32 v 5 Kenilworth RFC

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2016 06:50am
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Last weekend saw the Sutton 1st XV bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Hereford the previous weekend with a sparkling performance that put the smile back on the faces of the loyal Sutton supporters and included four quality tries for the home side including a debut try for teenage winger Mitch Brindley, a brace for hard running centre Tom McNamee and a fine try for second row powerhouse Lewis Snowden, with fly half Ben Morgan adding 2 penalties and 3 conversions for a personal tally of 12 points in the 32-5 bonus point win over old rivals Kenilworth RFC.

Older members of the Sutton club will remember the numerous sporting clashes with the Kenilworth club over many years but with the fortunes of the two clubs taking them into separate leagues over recent seasons the clubs at first team level have only met in Warwickshire Cup games until fate has brought them together in Midlands 1 West this season.

Sutton kicked off in a game they needed to win and to win in style, to restore their league ambitions after their stumble the previous weekend and on a dry day with little breeze and no bright sunshine to bother the fullbacks, they had the perfect conditions to show what they could do in a high pace running game.

Sutton started well but the fired up Kenilworth side took possession from the Sutton kick off and forced play back into the Sutton half driving the home team back towards their own try line and although Sutton defended well the visitors progressed steadily into the Sutton 22 but in their enthusiasm they conceded a penalty and Sutton were given the chance to clear their lines following the initial onslaught...unfortunately however the Sutton clearance kick missed touch on the Sutton left wing and Kenilworth were able to counteract putting Sutton under intense pressure again in their own 22. This time Kenilworth spun the play onto the Sutton right wing and drove for the try line but once again they were thwarted by the Sutton defence and the ball was judged to have been held up over the line giving the visitors a 5 metre attacking scrum under the posts. On this occasion the visitors pack got the upper hand and were able to drive the Sutton eight back over their try line for no8 Bobby Thompson to ground the ball and claim a pushover try after just 5 minutes play.
Amazingly the conversion in front of the posts came back off the upright and the Kenilworth lead remained at 5-0 after 5 minutes play. 
The score galvanised Sutton and they stepped up their game with the forwards holding their own in the scrums and debutant hooker Conor Thorneycroft finding his man consistently in the lineouts giving Sutton good possession and a solid platform from which the Sutton backs were able to launch successive attacks putting the visitors under sustained pressure in their own half. Although without in form inspirational skipper Jack Woodcock at no8, the rearranged back row of Anton Taylor in for the missing Woodcock, impressing again in his first start of the season at 6 having been on the bench in the previous games and newly returned Sutton man Jack Braniff, who continues to impress at 7 in his third game since his welcome return to Sutton this season alongside the combative Sam Harris, who moved to 8 in place of his skipper, all had outstanding games in defence and were very effective when supporting the Sutton attacking plays.
15 minutes into the game Sutton's sustained pressure won them a penalty on the edge of the Kenilworth 22 when the visitors were penalised for not releasing in front of their posts and fly half Ben Morgan slotted his first penalty to close to 3-5 and then 15 minutes later after further sustained pressure by Sutton led by snipping runs from scrumhalf and acting skipper Tom Harris, supported by flanker Anton Taylor and his back row colleagues, Kenilworth were penalised at the breakdown and Sutton took the a narrow 6-5 lead with a second well struck penalty by fly half Ben Morgan from 30 metres in front of the posts.
As Sutton relaxed into the game their old fluency started to return and the backs made strong attacking runs, with fullback Tom Benjamin making penetrating runs from deep and centres Nathan Burchell and Tom McNamee repeatedly tested the Kenilworth midfield defence to gain ground allowing wingers Martin Browning and Mitch Brindley in turn to make good progress as they challenged on the wide outside. Excellent support play by the Sutton pack at the breakdown consistently took play deep into the visitors 22 and kept Kenilworth on the back foot.
Once again Kenilworth wilted under the constant Sutton pressure in their 22 and 2 minutes before the break the Kenilworth no7 received a yellow card for denying Sutton possessionby handling the ball in the ruck 5 metres from his own try line. With the man advantage in the pack, from the resulting penalty Sutton opted for the scrum and winning clean ball to the right of the posts the ball was quickly spun left for illusive centre Nathan Burchell to make a break outside his opposite number, racing towards the corner before releasing the ball with a perfect pass to send winger Mitchell Brindley darting into the left corner for the perfect finish.
Unfortunately the difficult touchline conversion drifted wide but Sutton took a deserved 11-5 lead into the break .
With everything going well and full of confidence it took Sutton just under 4 minutes after the restart to explode into life again and extend their lead to 18-5, when second row Lewis Snowden raced through the Kenilworth defence on the perfect line to score in the left corner. In the build up to the try Sutton had received the ball from the restart after the break and set up an attack down the Sutton right wing with centre Tom McNamee taking the ball on at pace. As the defenders closed in the centre chipped ahead into the Kenilworth 22 and fellow centre Nathan Burchell followed up quickly to re-gather the ball and send it into midfield where Lewis Snowden gathered and the strong second row used his pace and power to race into the left corner to extend Sutton's lead to 16-5 before Ben Morgan landed an excellent touchline conversion to give Sutton the perfect start to the second half.
As the second half developed, with their opponents tiring and Sutton in sparkling form the home side continued to build the pressure and then to add to the pressure on the opposition, all at Sutton were pleased to see flanker Luke Stewart take to the field, for his first appearance of the season after recovering from injuries sustained whilst undergoing training with the Royal Marines.
Luke, who was a Sutton youth player and first choice open side flanker for the 1st XV during recent seasons before he left Sutton for his sabbatical with the Royal Marines, made an immediate impact when he joined this particular battle from the bench as his awareness, sharp reflexes and explosive pace won loose ball to set up commanding positions for Sutton to exploit.
With Sutton dominating most aspects of the game at this late stage in the contest, up stepped centre Tom McNamee to leave his mark on the score sheet with two powerful runs through the heart of the Kenilworth defence spinning out of tackles on the way to the line to score successive tries on 22 minutes and 35 minutes respectively, securing a valuable bonus point for a 4th try and with Ben Morgan adding both conversions Sutton completed a morale boosting 32-5 bonus point victory to take them from 6th to 4th in the league and very much back in contention and on track to meet their mission statement.
This weekend Sutton will be looking to continue with their new found form and sparkle under the floodlights as they face newly promoted Moseley Oak in a floodlit match on Friday evening away at their opponents Billesley Common ground. KO 7.30 pm.

Other Team Results:

The Sutton Development side/2nd XV travelled to Luctonians RFC in deepest Herefordshire last Saturday and in a high scoring contest the Sutton side complimented their recent successes with an excellent 46-41 victory over the National 2 club side. Luke Fleming and Dean Mannion-Quinn were amongst the try scorers with a brace each. Well done the Sutton lads.
A depleted Sutton 3rd XV made the shorter journey to near neighbours Old Veseyans but the valiant Sutton side lost a hard fought contest 52-15 against the home sides 2nd XV with Dave Sandford, Ian Wilson and captain Steve Marshall scoring the Sutton tries.     

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