Convincing Away Win for Sutton

Dudley Kingswinford 14 - 43 Sutton Coldfield

Last Updated: Feb 9, 2015 05:38pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Going into this testing contest, injury hit Sutton have not fared well on their travels so far during this troubled season, losing all but one of their away games, having completed 18 of their 26 league fixtures... but an excellent performance by a hastily rearranged team brought a convincing 43-14 away win for the travellers against a struggling Dudley Kingswinford side, who up to the end of last season were playing at level 4, in National League 2. Unfortunately, in a tale of our times DK lost up to 22 players through retirement, natural movement or the lure of financial reward at richer clubs and they are now forced into a rebuilding exercise.
Although at the end of last season Sutton also lost 6 or 7 key players from their highly successful 1st XV squad of recent years, the club was fortunate to have home grown talent coming through the junior ranks and this season these youngsters joined the established first teamers to keep a competitive edge to the Sutton game building to be a side which will once again be challenging at the top of the table next season as these youngsters gain experience in the National Leagues.
DK kicked off in this key fixture, which was critical to the league survival/pride of both sides and with decent conditions overhead and underfoot all boded well for a keen contest. The match did not disappoint as Sutton received the ball and took play back into the DK half applying all the early pressure, which the home side resisted but Sutton forced the pace and an outstanding run up the right wing by Sutton's Mike Burns, newly signed and promoted from the Sutton Development side for this game, was stopped short of the try line but the enterprising run by the debutant winger took play deep into the Dudley K 22 metre area. From the ensuing play Sutton were awarded a penalty in mid field, which skipper Fraser Tait took quickly and the ball was fed to stand-in scrum half Josh Rolls, who rounded the defenders to score to the left of the posts after 12 minutes of play. Rolls converted his own try for a 7-0 lead but within minutes of the restart another break by the 20 year old Mike Burns up the right wing saw centre Andy Tovey in close support and a perfectly timed pass from winger to centre in the DK 22 allowed the flying centre to deny a last ditch tackler and reach over the try line for a fine try in the corner. Once again Rolls duly obliged with a fine touchline conversion to stretch the visitors lead to 14-0 with 15 minutes played.
With Jimmy Scott returning at hooker and strong play by the Sutton pack the scrums and lineouts were going in Sutton's favour and good possession allowed the Sutton backs to open up. None more so than fullback Nathan Burchell, who demonstrated his dazzling running skills with the first of his hat-trick of tries after 24 minutes of play.
The score was set up by a clever cross field run by fly half Ben Morgan, who crossed in front of his centres in midfield going right to left creating space for fullback Burchell to take the pass directly and race in from the DK 10 metre line with left wing Ian Miller keeping pace and providing the perfect foil for a final dummy before the flying fullback completed a superb score giving Sutton a healthy 19-0 lead.
At this point Sutton were firmly in control of the game and although DK battled bravely against the odds Sutton secured a further score 5 minutes before the break, when skipper Fraser Tait took another quick tap penalty in midfield and made progress going right but when play was slowed the ball was taken left by scrum half Rolls, who found left wing Ian Miller and the illusive winger weaved past the remaining defenders to score an excellent bonus point 4th try wide out on the left wing. Such was Sutton's good fortune in contrast to their hosts difficulties that the difficult conversion, which was heading wide suddenly straightened and went inside the left upright to extend Sutton's lead to 26-0, which they carried into the break.
Sutton made a bright start to the second half and 5 minutes in, a break by Ian Miller up the Sutton left wing was closely supported by open side flanker Marcus Harewood, who was on hand to scoop up the ball and cross for Sutton's 5th try of the game to extend Sutton's lead to 31-0.
10 minutes later fullback Nathan Burchell again demonstrated his outstanding running skills with another 40 metre dash to the try line, when he raced down the left touchline, past and through opponents on his way score his second try of the day, which was converted by Josh Rolls to extend Sutton lead to a daunting 38-0.
But full credit to Dudley Kingswinford, who showed true grit and good character to fight back against the odds and following a strong passage of play in the Sutton 22 they set up a scrum/ruck in front of the Sutton posts. Scrum half Keiran Pinches deftly picked the ball from the base of the scrum and squeezed over for a consolation try, which was converted by fly half Jamie Hearn to close the score to 7-38 with 10 minutes to play.
In the remaining period of play Nathan Burchell completed his hat-trick and scored Sutton's 7th try of the game with a try in the right corner for 43-7 but the battling host club had the satisfaction of scoring the final try to complete the contest, when fullback Gavin Forbes charged down a Sutton attempted clearance in their 22 and picked up to score. Fly half Jamie Hearn added the conversion for a final scoreline of 43-14 and all at Sutton now wish old rivals Dudley Kingswinford good luck in their fight against relegation, although the club seem reconciled to Midlands 1 rugby next season and a chance to rebuild their depleted team.
Sutton take a break from league rugby this weekend before returning to the fray on Saturday 21st Feb, when they welcome Sandbach to the RSG, Walmley Road for the 20th game of a 26 game season. KO 2.15 pm.
Photo: File pic


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