A hard earned win meant victory tasted sweet for Sutton Threes at the home of Bromsgrove RFC. I doubt if the home team felt very inclined to laugh as they suffered a tantalising one point defeat by 19 points to 18, a game in which they led for a long period and missed a straightforward conversion, a miss that defined the difference between the teams. After 3 seasons in the league Sutton have surpassed their win total of the 2 previous seasons as they continue to make steady progress under the wise captaincy of Steve Marshall, who confounded expectations by lasting the full 80 minutes after a lengthy time without a game!
For once the sun shone and Sutton didn’t drop the kick off, probably because they took it! The initial play benefited Sutton with an obvious dominance in all the aspects of forward play but the backs were strangely subdued and ineffective! The back row of Tom Foulsham, Vaughan Brown and man of the match Harry Bamber bossed the ruck and maul and together with the front row of Marshall, Armand Ro and Andy Duckworth with second rowers Quentin and Dave Sandford working hard meant good ball for Sutton and scrambling for Bromsgrove!
But true to form Bromsgrove broke a few tackles and scored in the corner, 5-0. The away team hit back and following possession from a scrum and good work from scrum half Danny Price winger Mark McEvoy went over in the corner. Conversion missed, 5-5. The game meandered aimlessly for a while before another series of errors led to a try under the sticks for Bromsgrove, however the conversion was missed, crucially as it turned out! 10-5 to Bromsgrove and Sutton’s half of error and penalty strewn mistakes was compounded as a needless penalty was conceded and converted on the stroke of half time 13-5 and a bit of a gap at oranges.
Forward changes were made at half time with Ed “Franz Klammer” Moore, Army Aaron and Ian”The Lip”Wilson joining the fray. Sutton’s backs found a little more cohesion and made ground up the left wing as McEvoy pounced on a loose ball and powered his way through the home defence on his way to a score under the posts with second half scrum half Chris Duckworth converting to reduce the deficit to a point.
The decisive try came shortly afterwards as Duckworth received a pass decided against passing himself and somehow wormed his way over for another try under the posts again successfully converted for a 13-19 lead with about 12 minutes remaining till no side.
Bromsgrove pushed for a winning try but Sutton held out until the very last play as Bromsgrove went over in a flurry of defending legs and a whirling corner flag but with a strong headwind the odds were not very good on a successful conversion and that’s how it proved and Sutton were home and dry by 19-18.
Some good performances and good tries but far too many penalties conceded and basic errors made the game harder than it should have been!
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.