Picture - Jack Ward scoring the second try/
1st xv Manager
Sutton Coldfield 48pts v Malvern RFC 19pts
After they had stumbled into the New Year with a disappointing defeat the previous weekend, Sutton 1st XV returned to winning ways last weekend with a convincing 48-19 victory over a spirited Malvern side, who although routed at the bottom of the table are still fighting for survival with admirable courage and conviction and clearly they do not surrender their games easily as their spirited finish to this game testifies.
Malvern kicked off in moist but drying overhead condition on a perfect playing surface but true to the frustrations of their season to date the ball flew directly into touch and the game restarted with a scrum to Sutton in the centre circle. The powerful Sutton pack won clean ball and a break by Jack Ward playing at blindside flanker took play down the Sutton right into the Malvern 22. Drawing the defenders the bruising no6 slipped the ball to right wing Tom Burrows, who rounded the remaining defenders to touch down in the right corner for an excellent score and a 5-0 lead to Sutton after just 2 minutes of play.
The testing conversion drifted wide but Sutton were up and running and although the visitors responded positively driving play back into the Sutton 22 following the restart the home defence stood strong against the sustained pressure on their try line until 12 minutes in they broke free and good attacking play by the home side turned the tables returning play deep into the Malvern half to apply pressure in the visitors 22... and after 15 minutes of play a drive for the line by the powerful Sutton pack splintered and a two man breakaway unit comprising prop Chris Hanley and no6 Jack Ward completed the rumble to the line with Jack Ward grounding the ball for Sutton's second try, which was converted by fly half Ben Morgan to extend the Sutton lead to 12-0.
However, the spirited Malvern side were clearly not in the match just to make up the numbers and they raised their game making a break in midfield to set up a try for their lively no8 Jack Curtis, who raced down the left touchline to score in the corner closing the score to 12-5 midway through an entertaining first half.
With the Sutton pack performing well in the set scrums and lineouts and the marauding back row of Jack Ward (6), Jack Wells (7) and no8 George Ord providing pace and strength in both attack and defence, the Sutton side looked well balanced and produced good ball for the eager Sutton backline to use to good effect, with pace on the wings and fullback Ollie Green continuing to grow and impress in his new role as a counterattacking full back, safe under the high ball and strong in the tackle... but it was fly half Ben Morgan, who made an unexpected break in mid field to evade the defenders as he raced into the Malvern 22 before slipping the ball to his skipper, prop Sean Harrison, who powered over the line for a very impressive score to the right of the posts.
Unfortunately the conversion was missed but thanks to Ben Morgan the skipper had extended the Sutton lead to 17-5 with 26 minutes played and then Sutton's livewire no7 Jack Wells took over the scoring duties with consecutive tries on 35 minutes and 37 minutes respectively. Both tries were scored under the posts, the first coming after a dramatic break in midfield by veteran centre Paul Spiby, who raced deep into the Malvern 22 before slipping the ball to the flanker, who carried over and then a superb break by full back Ollie Green set up the second try for the supporting flanker. Ben Morgan added both conversions and Sutton moved into a convincing 31-5 lead, which they carried into the start of the second half.
In a lively start to the second half Sutton created space on their right wing to send winger Tom Burrows racing some 40 metres down the touchline to score a dramatic try in the corner moving the Sutton lead out to 36-5 and then 3 minutes later Malvern showed their strength and determination, when the ball was skilfully fed back infield and fullback Rob Cook gathered to race down the right wing for a fine score in the corner. Rob Cook converted his own try with an excellent touchline conversion to close the score line to 36-12.
But there was no relief for the visitors, when midway through the second half another decisive break by Sutton full back Ollie Green took play deep into the Malvern 22 and a slip pass allowed Jack Ward to power over for his second try of the day. Ben Morgan slotted home the conversion to extend the Sutton lead to 43-12 but then justly deserved with time running out Sutton's outstanding young winger George Creed was given a clear run to the line with a perfectly timed scoring pass from Jack Ward to send the impressively quick winger racing over 35 meters down the left wing to outpace the opposition on his way to scoring an excellent try and moving the scoreboard onto 48-12, with 3 minutes left to play.
To their credit although the scoreboard was against them Malvern had the character and ability to claim a final consolation try scored by substitute James Wood, converted by Rob Cook to bring the final score line to 48-19.
Sutton can reflect happily on their 8 try scoring spree in this game with a brace for leading try scorer Jack Ward, who now has 10 for the season followed by Tom Burrows, who had 2 in this game and a total of 8 for the season and Jack Wells, who had 2 in this game and 4 for the season. Try scoring skipper Sean Harrison had 1 try in this game and a total of 3 for the season, with winger George Creed contributing a try in this game with 3 for the season and Ben Morgan added 4 conversions in this game to give him a personal tally of 81 points for the season to date.
The game also marked an excellent debut for 18 year old Lewis Belton, who has come up through the Sutton junior ranks and the young back five player made an impressive debut for the senior club playing in the second row alongside the very experienced previous club captain Steve McCormack, who led the club to many successes during his tenure as club captain.
Thanks also go to Sam Harris, who was a late call up onto the bench an hour before kick off, when two of the selected subs had to cry-off on the morning of the match. So thanks to Sam, who is recently returned from New Zealand in the last few days and is just adjusting to the temperature change. Well done for his huge contribution to the game from the subs bench.
This weekend Sutton travel to Moseley Oak for a Friday evening fixture, KO 7.30pm, when Sutton will be looking to carry the form from last weekend into the coming games with 10 games left to the end of the season.
Sutton Coldfield Colts:
Newport Colts 19pts v Sutton Colts 22pts.
North Midlands Colts League - Division 2.
On Sunday the Sutton Colts travelled into deepest Shropshire to face a strong Newport side and under the guidance of Head Coach, Joe Gavin and Colts Coach Jack Ward, the Sutton Colts hit the ground running and raced into a 17-0 lead scoring 3 tries and a conversion in the first 23 minutes before Newport caught their breath and responded on 35 minutes with a try of their own.
At the break Sutton held a 17-5 lead but faced a determined fight back by the Newport, who went on to score two converted tries on 50 minutes and 60 minutes respectively to take the lead at 19-17 . However, Sutton stepped up to stop their momentum and swung the game in their favour with an excellent try by Tom Poland, who raced in to secure the winning margin of 22-19 and then the Sutton lads stepped up their defence and showed great character to deny their hosts a further score as they secured a famous victory.
Along with the match winning try scored by Tom Poland, which also secured a try scoring bonus point, Sutton's other try scorers included Tom O'Toole, who scored the first try on 6 minutes, followed by Paul O'Toole, who scored and converted the second try on 17 minutes before Tom Poland added a third try on 23 minutes to give Sutton a 17-0 lead heading into a dramatic and thrilling second half,
What a game, what a result - well done the lads.