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Sutton Out of Warwickshire Cup

Nuneaton 34 v 15 Sutton Coldfield 15

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2015 10:28am
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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In an entertaining first half Sutton matched a strong Nuneaton side and were leading 10-8 just 5 minutes before halftime but a last minute try going into the break and two quick fire tries within 5 minutes of the restart, swung the game in Nuneaton's favour at 27-10 and once again this season, Sutton were faced with another mountain to climb. In the closing 10 minutes Sutton did close to 27-15 but in the final minutes Nuneaton resisted the threatened recovery by Sutton and Nun's secured the game with a final try and conversion to move on to the County Final at the end of the season, with a 34-15 victory after a classic hard fought semi-final contest enjoyed by the travelling support from both clubs.
The highlight of an evenly matched first 10 minutes was an excellent tackle from behind on Nun's winger by Sutton's gentle giant, 2nd row Max Heppner, who launched himself at the winger as he flew past with clear space ahead to bring him down with a perfect tackle round the ankles but it was Nuneaton who took the lead on 20 minutes when Sutton were caught off side in their 22 and fly half Ross Cooke kicked the penalty for a 3-0 lead, having missed a similar kick 5 minutes earlier.
Sutton continued to play well in the forward exchanges matching their highly regarded opponents and after the Sutton pack won the ball in the Nuneaton half, classic back play saw the ball moved quickly from left to right across the field through the back division, with fly half Ben Morgan setting up the play, which was taken on with centre Jonny Raistrick providing the decisive break and fullback Josh Rolls making the extra man, to send right wing Andy Tovey racing in at the corner on the overlap. But having crossed the try line the winger had the presence of mind to continue his run to ground the ball under the posts giving fly half Ben Morgan an easy conversion and Sutton a 7-3 lead with 15 minutes to play to the break.
Unfortunately the next period of play did not go Sutton's way when Nuns were allowed to steal possession in dubious circumstances at a breakdown in the Sutton 22 and quick hands sent the ball across in front of the posts from left to right to put winger George Adams in at the opposite corner, restoring the Nun's lead at 8-7, 10 minutes before the break.
With halftime approaching the game ebbed and flowed between the respective 22 metre lines and although Sutton were let off again when Nun's missed another kickable penalty, Sutton suffered no such frustration when 20 year old fly half Ben Morgan calmly demonstrated how to place a perfectly judged penalty between the posts from a full 40 metres to give Sutton a narrow 10-8 lead 5 minutes before the break.
But from the restart the game and fortune turned away from Sutton as a wayward high pass by Nun's in the Sutton 22 was amazingly plucked from the air by fullback Joe Wilson, who raced past the stunned Sutton players to score under the posts and he converted his own try to give Nuneaton a 15-10 advantage at the break.
As if the last gasp score before the break was not enough to wound Sutton, two quick tries on 2 minutes and 5 minutes respectively immediately following the start of the second half were a severe setback to the Sutton side, who found themselves trailing 27-10 before they could draw breath. The first second half score came when the Nun's pack recovered the ball from the restart and drove play up to the Sutton try line for hooker Nick Smith to scramble his way over the line to extend Nun's lead to 20-10 and then a missed tackle in midfield allowed centre Luke Wakefield to power through for a try, which was converted by Joe Wilson leaving a stunned Sutton facing a 27-10 deficit with 35 minutes to play.
Sutton set about the task manfully and played well in all areas with the scrums and lineout working well and the backs making penetrating runs in turn but without success until 10 minutes before the end of the game, winger Andy Tovey showed Sutton what they had been missing whilst he was side lined through a long term injury for much of the season, as he went on a superb 50 metre run up the right wing outpacing and beating defenders on the way to score an outstanding try in the right corner.
Unfortunately the conversion drifted wide but Sutton had moved up to 27-15 setting up a competitive finish but Nun's snuffed out Sutton's late surge when they stole the ball at a breakdown in the Sutton 22 and fly half Joe Wilson raced in for the final try, which he converted himself for a solid 27-15 victory.
Although Sutton now have no further interest in this season's Warwickshire County Cup competition, if they carry this form and motivation in to their remaining league games they should have nothing to fear from the upcoming fixtures, starting this weekend with the visit of Peterborough to the RSG, Walmley Road. KO 2.15.
 
Sutton other team results:    
Unfortunately the Sutton development side failed to take their chances in a disappointing 17-22 defeat at home to a strong Old Halesonian team last Saturday but to their credit the Development side have already secured a place in the Warwickshire 2nd Team Trophy competition. So Sutton are in line to gain some silverware in this rebuilding season!
On a further positive note, Sutton 3rd XV impressed with an excellent 26-17 victory over the School of Engineering.

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