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Hinckley RFC 57 v 13 Sutton Coldfield

National League 3 Midlands

Last Updated: Mar 2, 2015 08:01pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Reflecting on the season so far its hard to believe that this time last season Sutton were competing at the top of the table, heading for a second place finish and a place in the play-off for promotion to National 2... but such is the cruelty and uncertainty of sport that last weekend it was Sutton's opponents Hinckley, who strengthened their claim for a place in this season's play off with a crushing 57-13 victory, as Sutton crashed to their unlucky 13th defeat in a frustrating season. 
In another difficult game for a much changed Sutton side, the visitors made a slow start and a confident high flying home XV took full advantage scoring a try after an opening 10 minutes of sustained pressure in the Sutton half, when left wing Sam Greedy scored in the corner for a 5-0 lead. Sutton responded well winning the ball at the restart and setting up a strong attack on the left wing but a knock on just short of the try line cost them and Hinckley cleared their lines taking play back into the Sutton half. A penalty awarded against Sutton on the edge of the visitor's 22 in midfield allowed fly half Mark Lord to extend the Hinckley lead to 8-0 after 15 minutes of play. Although Sutton's centre Alex White replied with a penalty in the Hinckley 22 for 8-3 after 25 minutes, Hinckley continued to pressurise Sutton through their hard driving pack with continuous rucks and mauls and after successive scrums on the Sutton try line flanker Tom Morris broke free to score under the posts. Lord added the simple conversion for 15-3, 5 minutes before the break but a 40 metre penalty by centre Alex White on the stroke of halftime kept Sutton in touch at 15-6 going into the break.
Unfortunately any promise shown by Sutton at the end of the first half did not materialise and Sutton were bulldozed to defeat by a one dimensional side, who used their driving pack to great effect, ably assisted by their long kicking fly half Lord, who kept play in the Sutton half for much of the second period. Hinckley scored steadily through the course of the second half with three converted tries coming in the first 10 minutes to leave Sutton trailing 36-6. The first of the trio of tries came after 3 minutes when hooker Luke Coltman was driven over from close range, followed by a second try for winger Sam Creedy after 5 minutes and then flanker Tom Morris crashed over for his second try after a catch and drive from a lineout and Mark Lord kicked all three conversions to compound Sutton's problems.
Sutton stemmed the flow briefly but Hinckley were not going to be denied and mid way through the second half flanker Tom Morris broke away to score in the right corner and a superb touchline conversion by Mark Lord extended the deficit to 43-6... then just minutes later Hinckley reached the 50 mark when no8 Alex Sulter spun out of a tackle to score under the posts, which was again converted by Lord before the no8 picked up from the base of a Hinckley scrum on the Sutton line to score his second and Hinckley's eight try of the day. Lord added the conversion for a 57-6 lead with 10 minutes left to play. 
However, although Sutton were well beaten over the course of a traumatic game, they were not diminished and they demonstrated their outstanding handling skills and quality support play, lifting their spirits for the critical closing games to come, as they finished on a high by scoring a spectacular 95 metre running try in the closing minutes.
The spectacular effort was started on the Sutton 5 metre line when flyer Nathan Burchell gathered the ball and set off on an amazing, weaving run up the left wing, taking play deep into the Hinckley half before he was stopped but Sutton were quick to the breakdown and the ball was expertly recycled going right through the centres towards the Sutton right wing, where second row Max Heppner joined in to advance the attack before delivering the perfect pass to right wing Andy Tovey, who rounded the remaining defenders before crossing in the corner and running round to ground the ball under the posts for a superb score. 
Alex White added the conversion for a deserved morale boosting consolation score and a final score line of 57-13. The results of the teams below Sutton leave Sutton unmoved in 10th place, 20 points above the relegation zone.
This weekend Sutton welcome 7th place Scunthorpe to the RSG, Walmley Road, to start the run in with five critical games to go to the end of a challenging season for the new look Sutton side. KO 3 pm.

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