Sutton survive a late Bournville rally

Bournville 34 vs Sutton Doldfield 42

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2013 08:57pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Bournville RFC 34 pts v Sutton Coldfield 42 pts
National League 3 Midlands

In a high quality match between two very good sides Sutton survived a late rally by their hosts, who scored 21 points in 7 frantic minutes to close to within 5 points with 3 minutes left to play.. but Sutton prevailed with a final penalty to stretch the winning margin to 8 points and secure a 42-34 opening victory to start their 2013/14 league campaign on a winning note.
The classic match was a game of four distinct quarters with the first quarter relatively even at 10-8 to the home side but Sutton raced into a 25-13 lead in the second quarter and the visitors continued to dominate in the third quarter with some scintillating rugby establishing a 39-13 lead going into the final quarter. But Bournville were not going to be easily denied and their strong running backs came to the fore putting Sutton under increasing pressure. The Sutton defence held firm but their cause was not helped by successive yellow cards and Bournville took full advantage of Sutton's disruption 70 minutes into the compelling contest as they  ran in in 3 consecutive converted tries in 7 minutes to close to 39-34 with 3 minutes to play. In the closing minutes, restored to a full 15, Sutton recovered their composure and from the restart their forward pressure secured a penalty in the Bournville 22. Centre Alex White completed an excellent kicking display as he kicked Sutton into an 8 point lead and with time running out Sutton recovered the ball from the restart to secure a dramatic 42-34 victory putting them 5th in the league after the opening fixtures.
Newly installed fly half Josh Rolls, playing in his first league game for the Green Team, capped a fine pivotal performance by scoring 2 tries and Brook Davies continued his impressive conversion from prop to blind side flanker with another outstanding display which included a brace of tries and with skipper Dave Edwards adding a fifth try, the Sutton interplay and fluency of movement was at times quite outstanding and a fine credit to work the players and coaches have put in over the summer training period. The Sutton scoring was completed by centre Alex White who along with his key positional role also kept the score board turning with 4 conversions and 3 penalties for a personal tally of 15 points.
This weekend the Roger Smoldon Ground, Walmley Rd plays host to established rivals Broadstreet, who  sit 2nd in the league with Sutton 5th after the opening round of games. All supporters will receive a warm welcome for what should be another classic contest between two competitive teams. Kick-off 3 pm.


The story of the game...


Sutton received the ball from the Bournville kick-off and immediately the inspired visitors drove play back into the Bournville half setting up a series of impressive driving mauls which took play up the Sutton left wing, putting the home side on the defensive and under increasing pressure from the outset. Great control by the Sutton pack kept the ball in Sutton hands as they crossed into the Bournville 22 and as the forward movement slowed the ball was swung from left to right across the Bournville 22 into the hands of right wing Nathan Burchell, who used his quick footwork to keep the attack alive just metres from the try line. Although he was hounded by the cover defence the wily winger off loaded to his supporting centre Alex White who in turn fed fly half Josh Rolls coming in on a wide sweep to score an excellent opening try tight to the right corner flag. Although the attempted touchline conversion drifted just wide of the posts Sutton had secured a deserved 5-0 lead after 5 minutes of play.


Bournville responded positively to the Sutton score and from the restart they took play into the Sutton half with a strong attacking movement which won them a penalty when the Sutton centres were caught off-side in front of their posts in the Sutton 22. Fly half Alex Warner duly kicked the points to close the score to 3-5 after 10 minutes of play and the scene was set for a classic encounter.

At this point in the game the momentum was with the home side who continued to pressurise the Sutton defence with powerful play as they drove into the visitors 22 and attacked the Sutton try line. Sutton defended stoutly but as the referee played advantage to the hosts following an infringement by Sutton under the posts, Bournville failed to gain advantage as they fed the ball to their right, so the game was halted on the Bournville right wing and play brought back for the original penalty. Unfortunately for Sutton Bournville reacted quickly and their centre Robin Eatough raced to the spot taking a quick tap penalty to score under the posts. Alex Warner added the simple conversion to extend the Bournville's lead to 10-5 after 13 minutes of play.

With the teams well matched Sutton fought back winning a penalty after Nathan Burchell was bundled into touch just short of the try line and Sutton settled for 3 points from the trusty boot of Alex White to bring the score line back to 10-8 midway through the first half.

From this point Sutton stepped up their game and played some outstanding rugby with the backs and forwards combining to produce fluent multi phases of play which led to a second penalty for Sutton at the scrum, which Alex White converted to ease Sutton ahead by 11-10 after 25 minutes but then Sutton stretched further ahead when blind side flanker Brook Davies went over for the first of his two tries on the day. The score came following a long clearance kick by skipper Dave Edwards who cleared the Sutton lines to set up a line out deep in Bournville territory. Sutton regained possession following the ensuing lineout and the ball fell to the charging flanker who raced in over 30 metres, brushing aside would be tacklers to score a superb solo try.

Alex White added the conversion to extend Sutton's lead to 18-10 with 12 minutes to go before the break but Alex Warner clawed back 3 points for the home side when the Sutton backs were again caught off side to close the scores to 18-13 but Sutton closed out the half with a second try for fly half Josh Rolls after an excellent flowing attack by Sutton which swept across the Bournville 22 from left to right and as right wing Nathan Burchell was prevented from scoring himself the very alert fly half raced in to gather the ball and score a superb try. Again Alex White added a well directed conversion to take Sutton into a 25-13 lead at the break.

The second half started with Sutton in the ascendency and the backrow of Brook Davies, who continued to impress at 6 plus the very effective Marcus Harewood at 7 and with the talented Fraser Tait returning as a strong force at 8, gave Sutton an excellent link between backs and forwards in the attacking and defensive play respectively. With the forwards playing well in the scrums and lineout, which was aided by the welcome return of the newly wed Tony Worthington who returned to resume his 2nd row partnership with Steve McCormack in the absence of new recruit David Merlin and played an important role to boost the high contribution of the Sutton pack, which also saw the introduction of Liam Hills at prop, alongside hooker Mike Worthington and vice captain Sean Harrison. The pace and power of the restructured pack and the team performance was quite outstanding so it was no surprise that 6 minutes after the restart Sutton surged into a 32-13 lead when skipper Dave Edwards, playing on the left wing at this point, scored Sutton's 4th try to secure the all important bonus point as he raced in under the posts following a superb build up involving backs and forwards. The play swung from right to left across the 22 before swinging back into mid field for Dave Edwards to complete an excellent phase of running rugby under the posts. Alex White added the conversion to extend Sutton's lead to 32-13. Sutton continued to press following the restart and again superb interplay between backs and forwards led to a second try for back row player Brook Davies who raced in following a break by fly half Josh Rolls to extend Sutton's lead to 37-13 and centre Alex White extended this to 39-13 with a simple conversion 50 minutes into a compelling contest.

However, Bournville were not going down without a fight and in a late revival 70 minutes into a compelling contest the home side scored 3 converted tries to close to 39-34 within 7 minutes to set up a thrilling finale. With 3 minutes left to play Sutton reasserted themselves and won a key penalty in the opposition 22 which centre Alex White duly converted to re-establish a valuable 8 point lead at 42-34 and Sutton secured the ball at the restart to play out time securing an excellent opening win against a very talented side, who will provide problems to the other teams in a very competitive league.

Sutton can feel satisfied with a testing opening contest which they came through with credit but with a timely reminder that no game is safe until the final whistle! On this occasion Sutton survived the late charge and now focus on this weekends game when they welcome Broadstreet to the RSG, Walmley Road for a first home game of the season.


Sutton other team results:  

The newly formed combined Sutton 2nd team/development XV in the absence of an under 19 Colts side this season, faced their opening fixture as a development side, away to a combined 1/2 Wolverhampton team who edged a keen contest 16-13, which though disappointing as a final result was encouraging for the young core of the development team and bodes well for the future. 


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