Sutton No Match for South Leicester

National League 3 Midlands

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2015 07:42pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Sutton Coldfield 12 v 40 South Leicester 

Unfortunately on current form Sutton were no match for League Champions elect South Leicester, who showed their Championship winning credentials at Walmley Road last weekend with a confident performance but Sutton were never overwhelmed and although trailing 19-0 in a challenging first half they stayed in the game to recover to 12-33 late in the second half but they conceded a final try on the stroke of full time to go down 40-12 in the final count.
With the regular Sutton attendance on the touchline swelled by the former players, who had enjoyed their annual end of season lunch before the game, the large crowd saw an impressive first start for hooker Mike Ashford, who was making his debut after returning to join the Sutton cause and the colours of his youth, having completed his studies at Leeds University, where he played rugby in the National Leagues for Morley RFC.
Mike joined regular props Liam Hills and Chris Hanley in a strong Sutton front row and with Max Heppner and Lewis Snowden providing the power from the 2nd row Sutton matched their illustrious opponents in the scrums but the league leaders showed their confidence and inner believe with a try within 3 minutes. The try came following a penalty in midfield, which Sutton conceded after receiving the kick off. Leicester kicked accurately into the left corner and won possession from a well practised lineout, which was driven forward before the ball was swung in field and centre Andy Gates raced in for a well taken try by the posts. Fly half Ricky Aley added the conversion for a 7-0 lead to the visitors and they repeated the successful formula when another penalty was kicked into the corner. Again they regained possession and the pack drove forward but this time they kept the ball in the forwards for no8 Chris Bale to force his way over from a secondary drive. The conversion attempt drifted wide but Sutton found themselves 12-0 down after just 8 minutes play.       
Sutton stemmed the flow for the next 20 minutes with some robust and positive play taking the game to Leicester with sustained pressure in their opponents half but the Sutton game would not flow with basic errors costing them possession and field position and the home side could not turn pressure into points. Having withstood the onslaught the visitors took play back into the Sutton half and gave Sutton a lesson in finishing when a break up the left wing was taken infield and winger Gareth Kerr ( Hollywood to his friends) raced in for a try which was converted by Aley to extend the lead to 19-0 ten minutes before the break.
The 19-0 lead carried through to halftime and Sutton made a good start to the second period but centre Jonny Raistrick had to pull off an outstanding try saving tackle when Leicester broke through in midfield and the Sutton centre chased back to bring the player down short of the try line and the danger was cleared. However once again for all their endeavour Sutton were unable to change the scoreboard and midway through the second half Leicester broke clear and extended their lead to 26-0 when centre Will Care (often mistaken for Carl Froch) exploited an overlap to race in for a 4th try, which was converted by Aley and then just 3 minutes later winger Howell Blane completed a fine free flowing try when Leicester gathered the ball from the restart and raced into the Sutton half with close passing over a 50 metre run setting up the try for the winger. 
Aley added the conversion to lead 33-0 but following the restart Sutton discovered some of their lost form and at last they found their way to the try line when winger Andy Tovey weaved his way through the Leicester defence at pace to score to the right of the posts and centre Alex White added the conversion to put Sutton on the score sheet at 33-7 with 12 minutes to play... then with Sutton gradually finding their rhythm, 4 minutes from the close of play forward Sam Harris selected the perfect line to take the ball on the burst and break through the Leicester defence on the 22, running right to left, to score an outstanding try in the left corner bringing Sutton up to 33-12.
Unfortunately the Sutton revival was crushed when Leicester 2nd row Stew Bale charged over from close range to land South Leicester's 6th try of the day and with Ricky Aley adding the conversion with the last kick of the game South Leicester consolidated their League Championship win with a 40-12 bonus point victory, which keeps them 20 points clear of second place Hinckley RFC, with just two games to play.
Sutton take a break from league rugby over Easter before they return to league action on Saturday 11th April with a trip to Longton RFC, then they close a season of mixed fortunes at Bournville on Sat 18th April. KO 3pm.
Photo: File pic
Sutton Development Side result:
The Sutton Development side, playing 2nd team fixtures this season, returned to winning ways with a hard fought, 14-12 narrow victory over visitors Old Patesians 2nd XV at the RSG, Walmley Road to give the Sutton club something to celebrate as the season comes to an end.


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