Convincing 34-19 Win for SCRFC

Sutton Coldfield 34 - 19 Old Halesonians

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2013 07:03pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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National League 3 Midlands

After their disappointing start to the new season, in which the previously all concurring Sutton side suffered a series of uncharacteristic away day defeats, last Saturday saw Sutton return to their best form with a convincing 34-19 victory over league leaders and old rivals Old Halesonians, who fought hard in a compelling contest but it was the home side who edged ahead to celebrate a deserved bonus point victory.

In their stuttering start to the season it has been small margins and loss of form at pivotal points in the game plus simple errors that have cost Sutton in their away defeats and not-withstanding the problems of team selection, which has been heavily disrupted by a constantly growing injury list... but with the injury list improving and key players returning to the fray, this victory heralds a welcome return to their best form and bodes well for Sutton in the future!!

All the returning players, in their key roles contributed to this victory and brought the best out of their teammates who had persevered through the troubled games and now shared in this excellent statement from the revitalised Sutton side. The improved play and result do not reflect badly on the previous selections but merely shows how close Sutton were to putting on a show of this calibre.

Sutton kicked off and immediately advanced into the visitors half applying sustained pressure but Old Hales resisted and the opening period saw sharp exchanges between the two teams before Sutton struck with a well judged penalty by centre Josh Groom, which gave Sutton a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes of play. As befits their position and pedigree, the league leaders responded positively with a try for flanker Loz Breeze who crashed over in the corner and centre Pete Clifford added an excellent touchline conversion to give the visitors a 7-3 lead midway through the first half. In turn the newly confident Sutton side fought back and good attacking play put the visitors on the back foot. Inevitably 5 minutes before the break Sutton prop Liam Hills drove over the try line to retake the lead and with Josh Groom adding the conversion Sutton approached halftime with a narrow 10-7 lead... but on a high, Sutton again continued to dominate play close to the Old Hales try line and on the stroke of halftime Sutton's fine utility forward, Simon Millard drove over from close range to extend Sutton's advantage and with Josh Groom slotting the conversion Sutton went into the break with an impressive 17-7 lead over the league leaders.  

Sutton continued in the ascendancy at the start of the second half and within 8 minutes they extended their lead to 24-7 when flyhalf Josh Rolls ghosted in for a try under the posts, converted by Josh Groom but the visitors responded immediately following the restart when a quick tap penalty in their own half was run at pace down the right wing taking Sutton by surprise and fullback Chris Hooper claimed a well taken try which was converted by Pete Clifford to close the scores to 24-14 with 30 minutes to play. However, with Old Hales threatening a comeback Sutton continued to pile on the pressure with their scrums and lineouts working well and their relentless pressure led to a penalty which Josh Groom converted for 27-14 before Old Hales winger Chris Oxford raced 40 metres into the left corner for a fine solo try, 15 minutes before the end of play.

On a day when unusually this season the luck was going Sutton's way, the conversion rebounded off the upright and the score remained 27-19 but Sutton had the final word when again relentless pressure lead to a 4th try and an all important bonus point as scrum half Luke Ward finished off some fine attacking play by Sutton with a try under the posts and Josh Groom added the conversion for the winning margin of 34-19 on the stroke of full time.

This weekend Sutton travel to Sandbach to face an unpredictable team who before Sutton's win were the only other team in the league to have beaten Old Halesonians this season. So Sutton will have to overcome their indifferent away form and continue with their new found focus, if they are to do themselves justice. KO 2.15 pm.

Click here for Old Halesonians match report.




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