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Sutton Coldfield 38 - 25 Sandbach RFC

National League 3 Midlands

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2014 05:29pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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After an enthralling league contest between Sutton in 3rd place, chasing promotion and Sandbach in 11th place, looking to avoid the relegation zone, it was the home side who prevailed with an important 38-25 bonus point victory to keep their ambitions alive.

However, it was a hard fought victory against a very capable team, who rose above their lowly league position to challenge Sutton and the visitors led 9-10 at the break, closing to 24-22 with 10 minutes to play. It was only in the closing period that Sutton pulled away to record what the score suggests was a comfortable victory but the final score does not reflect the brave effort made by the visitors and the admirable response by the home side in a highly entertaining contest.

On another sunny Saturday at the RSG, after early pressure from the visitors, which Sutton resisted, the tables were turned and on 12 minutes centre Alex White kicked a 30 metre penalty to open the scoring but Sandbach levelled at 3-3 with an equally fine penalty by fullback Ben Elliot after 15 minutes.

As the game developed Alex White went on to kick a total of 4 penalties, 3 in the first half and I in the second half plus a bonus winning try and 3 conversions for a personal tally of 23 points in a man-of-the-match performance.

Coming up to the 40th minute with Sutton leading 9-3, centre John Smith raced home for a shock try on the stroke of half time and with Ben Elliot slotting the conversion Sandbach took a 9-10 lead into the break but just 3 minutes into the second period the Sutton lead was restored at 12-10 when Alex White kicked his 4th penalty. A try by flyhalf Josh Groom converted by Alex White on 45 minutes extended the Sutton lead to 19-10, which was reduced to 19-15 as Sandbach fought back with a well worked try by winger Sam Morris 10 minutes later. Again Sutton responded with a fine try for fullback Josh Rolls to take Sutton to 24-15 but Sandbach stayed in touch with a try and conversion by Ben Elliot to close to 24-22 with 10 minutes to play.

After the restart Sutton stepped up their game and claimed a penalty try as their powerful forwards drove for the line and with the simple conversion Sutton led 31-22. A final penalty by Benny Elliot brought the visitors within reach of a losing bonus point at 31-25 but Alex White had the last word with a try and conversion to secure the win and gain an all important bonus point for a 4th try. 

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