SCRFC 1st XV Team Manger
Sutton Coldfield 20pts v Hereford RFC 0pts
Last Saturday Sutton 1st XV delivered an early Christmas present for their loyal fans and supporters plus coaching staff, when they defeated a strong Hereford side by 20-0 in the last league game of 2018.
After a strong start to the season, winning four of their first five games Sutton lapsed into a period of win then lose before a dip in form led to them losing their last four games in a row but the team ended 2018 on a high with an outstanding 20-0 victory over 5th place Hereford on a cold and wet, dull Winters afternoon in Walmley, but the Sutton team raised the spirits on the touchline with an excellent display of strong rugby in difficult handling conditions.
In front of the many hardy souls who had braved the sever weather the Sutton boys turned in a gutsy performance to put a dent in the unbeaten away record of the visitors, who prior to this weekend were unbeaten away from home, and in doing so Sutton completed the ‘double’ over their illustrious opponents, who for many seasons have had the best of the confrontations between the two clubs but this season has seen an end to the Hereford dominance, when at last Sutton showed just what they are capable off.
The basis for the win was established in a gruelling first period where the respective defences held sway but a priceless penalty, won by Paul Spiby and converted by Ben Morgan from 35 metres, gave Sutton a 3-0 lead at the interval.
The weather was so bad that the teams retreated to the warmth of the dressing rooms at the break and it’s thanks to Del Green and the ladies for having hot tea at the ready which worked a treat as within 3 minutes of the restart leading scorer no8 Jack Ward forced his way over from the back of a driving maul for his 8th try of the season to extend the lead to 8-0.
The visitors were clearly not going to lie down without a fight and it took some impressive defensive sets to keep them out at a critical stage of the well matched game. The Sutton reward came on 54 minutes when their irrepressible talisman at outside centre, Paul Spiby cut a great line to power through the midfield defence in the Hereford 22 to score superbly under the posts for his 2nd try of the campaign. Morgan’s conversion pushed the lead out to 15-0, with 26 minutes to play.
More heroic defending ensured the visitors went home with nothing and the icing on the cake came deep into added time in near darkness when winger Jack Wells scored his 2nd try of the season reacting well to touch down in the right corner, making the final score 20-0 and with it came a welcome 4 points to close the year leaving Sutton 7th out of 14 in the table with 7 wins and 7 losses plus 8 bonus points, giving them 36 points from the 14 games played. A good position from which to kick on in the New Year.
Following the Xmas and New Year break Sutton's next game is away at a resurgent Longton on 5th January 2019 KO 2.15pm.
Thanks and Merry Christmas together with best wishes go to all the Sutton players plus the Coaching staff led by head coach Joe Gavin and the physio support team led by Medical Officer Lance White and his team of physios plus the Ground staff, who prepare the perfect pitches week after week led by site manager Tom Jones. Not to forget Del Green and his family for all they do to make the club welcoming and hospital, Marta the team chef, who prepares the welcome hot food for the teams on training nights and match days... and a special mention for Gerard Shanahan, who attends all training and match days for the 1st XV plus provides support for the Colts and Women's rugby when he can; providing water on the field and he compiles key player and playing statistics adding to the valuable on going club records, together with incisive match reports and social media coverage, off the field.
Happy Christmas also to all our brilliant supporters who continue to get behind the team home and away... and make such a difference particularly on days like last Saturday when the team needed the extra energy provided by the supportive home crowd.
Team: Sean Harrison(Capt), Dean Ginn, Chris Hanley, George Ord, Steve McCormack, Jack Ward, Luke Stewart, Peter Meachin, Tom Harris, Ben Morgan, Jack Wells, Joel James, Paul Spiby, Tom Burrows, Ollie Green. Reps(used): Jacob Jones, Liam Hills, Jonah Falconer.
Third Team Friendly - 15th Dec 2018
Sutton Social Side 27pts v Bournville 3rd XV 26pts
Friendly Social Game
With Christmas rapidly approaching SCRFC fielded a festive social side playing as a 3rd XV, which included a number of players new to the club playing alongside established campaigners and the new combination enjoyed a great game of rugby against an established 3rd XV from National 3 side Bournville winning a very close contest with a spectacular try in the closing moments to secure a rewarding 27-26 victory, with the prospect of many more third team fixtures to come in the New Year.
In a highly entertaining game Sutton outscored their opponents by 5 tries plus 1 conversion to 4 tries plus 3 conversions and the Sutton try scoring star was Will Smewin, who led the way with a hat-trick followed by Chris Hendley and Ben Garratty, who each scored a try each and T J Allwood, who added a conversion to complete the score sheet.