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Warwickshire Cup Final for Sutton

Spartans RFC 9 v 64 Sutton Coldfield

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2014 08:49pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By Jim Haywood
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Warwickshire Cup Semi-final

 

At last the twice postponed Warwickshire cup tie featuring Sutton's two leading teams took place at the prestigious Broadstreet ground, Coventry, on Wednesday 26th Feb.

The game had to be played mid-week under floodlights due to the growing fixture congestion caused by the recent wet weather with the postponed league games taking precedence over the cup games on free weekends.

In the event, the floodlights added to the atmosphere for this much anticipated match between local rivals and close neighbours and friends, Spartans v Sutton Coldfield... and the teams did not disappoint the fans who had made the trip from Sutton to the South/East corner of Coventry on a pleasant early spring evening with conditions perfect for playing rugby. 

Although Spartans, who play their league rugby in Midlands 2 West two leagues below Sutton, raised their game for this one off encounter putting on a good show in front of their travelling supporters in the opening quarter, winning penalties which kept then in touch at 7-6 after 12 minutes... but in the final event Sutton ran away with the game leading 26-6 at the interval and then completing a 64-9 victory in the second half to carry home the spoils and secure a place in the Warwickshire Cup Final against Broadstreet. Venue and date still to be confirmed so watch this space!!

In an outstanding victory Sutton scored 10 tries plus 7 conversions whilst restricting their opponents to 3 well struck penalties by flyhalf Tom Hardy, with one at the start of the game to open the scoring, a second 12 minutes into the game after Sutton had scored their opening try courtesy of Dave Edwards and then a third penalty at the start of the second half to close to 26-9 but that was as close as the Midlands 2 side came as they struggled to live with the pace and lines of running produced by the Sutton backs, who scored 8 of the 10 Sutton tries, with centre Alex White kicking the 7 conversions and no8 Fraser Tait contributing the other 2 tries for the forwards.

The Sutton try fest was led by skipper Dave Edwards, who finished his tries brilliantly to score a hat-trick on the right wing all consecutively in the first half, followed by Andy Tovey, who celebrated his recent return to 1st XV duties with a brace of tries, one before the break and one after the break and no8 Fraser Tait also celebrated a brace on behalf of the forwards, both in the second half.

The other second half tries were scored by flyhalf Josh Groom, wing Ian Miller, who scored after a superb solo run down the left wing cutting in field to score under the posts and centre Jonny Raistrick also celebrated his return to 1st XV action with the penultimate try leaving Fraser Tait to compete the evening with his second score and Alex White added the conversion to send Sutton into their 4th final in 5 seasons with the 2013 competition cancelled when Sutton reached the semi-final stage.

This game, for one night only, saw the welcome return of 2nd row Tony Worthington to renew his legendary partnership with Steve McCormack and with brother Mike Worthington throwing in, the two clicked perfectly again to dominate the lineout winning good ball for Sutton and disrupting the oppositions throw. The Sutton pack also dominated the scrums with raw power up front and the mobility and sharpness of the Sutton back row, comprising Marcus Harewood, Luke Stewart and no8 Fraser Tait caused trouble for the noisy neighbours throughout the game, both in attack and defence.

Towards the end of the game Sutton rang the changes and brought on some of their up and coming youngsters from the development squad who fitted right in and maintained the momentum and flair produced by their established mentors.

The game proved to be highly entertaining and although the difference between the two leagues showed in Sutton's favour in the end, Spartans competed bravely right to the final whistle and everyone at Sutton wish them well in their league campaign and success in their remaining games.     

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