Sutton Edged Out of Morale Boosting Win

Sutton Coldfield 17 v 18 Old Halesonians 18

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2015 09:27am
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By Ian Worthington
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National League 3 Midlands 

In a close contest Sutton were edged out of a morale boosting victory by a last gasp try, which gave visitors Old Halesonians a narrow 17-18 victory over a much improved Sutton side, whose overall performance deserved a better result but the marked improvement against strong opposition bodes well and should see Sutton recover from their recent dip in form to finish the season strongly.
History shows that over many years games against Old Hales both home and away have gone down to the wire with each team in turn edging the game in the dying minutes and this most recent game went true to form with the visitors overturning a 17-13 deficit with a try in the final 4 minutes to deny a revitalised Sutton.
In what was something of a scrappy game Sutton produced a much improved performance in all areas with a positive and energetic approach from the kick off. Strong scrums, an improved lineout and an attacking backline led by young fly half Ben Morgan restored a sense of urgency and sparkle to the Sutton game as the backs ran in an opening try by left wing Ian Miller after 35 minutes. The try was converted by centre Alex White to cancel out a penalty by Old Hales fullback Chris Hooper which had given the visitors a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes of play but the Sutton score gave them a 7-3 lead at the break. 
Sutton started the second half smartly and extended their lead to 12-3 just 5 minutes after the restart, when centre Jon Raistrick stretched his legs and raced round the defenders to score a superb try in the right corner but unfortunately Old Hales responded
immediately when right wing Luke Smith scored in the opposite corner following a break in mid field, to close to 12-8. 
Not to be denied Sutton re-established their 9 point lead when skipper Fraser Tait drove over from close range with 30 minutes left to play but once again the visitors regained possession from the restart and highly rated, ex Sutton player Mark Evans was driven over in the left corner to punish Sutton and restore the 4 point margin, which in spite of the best efforts of both sides remained the margin until 5 minutes before the end when a tactical cross field kick onto the left wing was gathered by winger Warren Oliver, who raced over for the clinching score to deny Sutton a deserved victory but such are the hazards of a close game when chances to add to the score are not taken and the game ended 17-18 with Sutton still stuck in 10th place, 10 points and 2 places above the relegation zone. 
Sutton will be looking to continue their revitalised approach when they visit Burton this weekend seeking their first away win of the season. All supporters who make the short journey down the A38 will receive a warm welcome. KO 2.15. 
Sutton other team results:  
Last Sunday the Sutton Development side under coach Joe Gavin and manager Andy Hawkins gave the Sutton club something to celebrate when they overcame a strong Newbold 2nd team 7-0 to win the semi-final of the Warwickshire 2nd XV Trophy at Newbold to reach their 4th final in 5 seasons. The Sutton try was set up with a brilliant run through the mid-field by winger Dior Taylor (Chevel), scored by Mike Burns and converted by fly half Miles Gregory just before halftime and then Sutton led by skipper Sam Harris showed great character and discipline in the second half to defend their lead against a very physical Newbold side and combining good defence with keen attacking play of their own, Sutton were rewarded with a place in the Final at the end of the season, to defend the Championship Trophy they currently hold.
Unfortunately Sutton 3rd XV found Old Silhillians 2nd XV too strong and suffered a 38-5 defeat at the RSG, Walmlet Rd. on the Saturday.


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