SCRFC 1st XV Team Manager
Dudley Kingswinford 97pts v Sutton Coldfield 26pts
Last weekend Sutton found themselves in an end of season high scoring free for all with their hosts Dudley K going all out for the 5 point win required to secure their place in the M1W play off against Paviours, second in the M1E league and this they achieved by one point over Newbold 3rd in M1W, with their 97-26 win over Sutton.
Thankfully after a season of mixed fortunes with good and bad periods in turn, Sutton did enough in the first half of the season to keep them ahead of the lower teams in the league as their season petered out with a series of disappointing results up to the end but their place in M1W next season was secured the previous week when a losing bonus point against Droitwich and with the other results going their way Sutton kept themselves ahead of Longton, who fought hard but just failed to secure the points needed to challenge Stourbridge and Sutton in the final game of the season...so a 97-26 defeat by D-K last weekend gave the host club the 5 points needed to promote them into the playoffs for the second year running and the 4 try bonus point for Sutton gave the visitors a respectable league placing after a difficult season.
Dudley K kicked off on a sunny, dry afternoon, with a gusting wind and they immediately showed their serious intent to push for the 5 point bonus win they needed to secure the coverted playoff place as they rushed into the Sutton half progressing up both wings in turn before creating an opening in mid-field for second row forward Dan Marsh to race in for a try under the posts after just 3 minutes of play. Fullback Dan Vaughan added the easy conversion to give the host club and their jubilant fans the perfect start but Sutton responded well following the restart kick deep into the D-K half and recovering the ball they drove play up their right flank where skipper Sean Harrison broke clear to drive over for an excellent try to the right of the posts. Unfortunately the conversion was missed but Sutton were back in the game at 7-5 after 5 minutes of play.
However, in a fast paced game just 4 minutes later a D-K penalty was kicked into the right corner and from the ensuing play the ball was worked across the Sutton 22 creating space for hooker James Fildes to cross for a try to the left of the posts. Again the conversion was kicked by Sam Vaughan and there then followed a procession of tries by the home side; first 13 minutes into the game tight head flanker Jake Thompson scored, then on 15 minutes fly half Jordan Brookes claimed the bonus point try with a solo burst in the Sutton 22, converted by Sam Vaughan to stretch the lead to 26-5 before left wing Charlie Baffour gathered a well placed cross field kick in the Sutton 22 to score an unconverted try in the left corner extending the lead to 31-5 with 17 minutes played.
Around this point Sutton lost their inspirational skipper Sean Harrison with an ankle injury sustained during the warmup and aggravated during the game. This took out Sutton's strongest scrummager and with Jack Ward moving from 2nd row to the front row. Tom Foulsham moved from back row to second row and Rhoss Price came into the back row for his first appearance after many months sidelined by injury and was only called into the squad that morning to provide cover on the bench. However, it was good to welcome the hard working combative player back where he belongs at the heart of the Sutton thrust for success.
With the Sutton pack completely reorganised they had to work hard against an established and experienced opposition pack who started to dominate the set scrums and Sutton's no8 George Ord performed brilliantly, repeatedly picking up the ball from a Sutton scrum that was going steadily backwards but the powerful no8 bravely secured the ball and broke the gain line time and time again.
However, at this time Sutton suffered a harsh yellow card for tackling a player in the air and the home side took full advantage scoring three more tries while Sutton were reduced to 14 men. The first came on 23 minutes when right wing Tom Walker finished off a break by Jordan Brookes, converted by Sam Vaughan to extend the score to 38-5 then on 24 minutes straight from the restart centre Will Hancox set off on a weaving run to the line also converted by Sam Vaughan for 45-5 before Sam Vaughan scored after a break by right wing Tom Walker. Vaughan failed to convert his own try but the score had moved onto 50-5 after 28 minutes.
Then even after Sutton were restored to a full complement left wing Charles Baffour moved over to the right wing to score an excellent try in the right corner to push the score out to 55-5 with 36 minutes played...but to Sutton's credit with halftime approaching they raised their game and scrum half Ollie, who had moved to fly half after a shoulder injury to Ben Morgan, with Zak Tyler coming off the bench to take the scrum half role, took a quick tap penalty in mid field then played the ball to centre Sam Grimshaw, who made the decisive break to take play into the D-K 22 before delivering the scoring pass to right wing Tom Burrows, who raced to the line for an excellent score to the left of the posts and fullback Joel James made no mistake with the conversion to bring Sutton back to 55-12 at the break.
Encouraged by the breakthrough the start of the second half was all Sutton as they followed the restart kick into the D-K 22 and applied sustained pressure in the opening minutes but a lost ball on the D-K 22 as Sutton looked certain to score was picked up by second row Dan Marsh, who raced 80 metres down the left touchline to score close to the posts for Sam Vaughan to add the conversion extending the lead to 62-12 after 5 minutes of the second half and against the run of the second half play.
Then, severely punished after a promising start to the second half Sutton suffered again when replacement Joe Dunn scored from a 5 metre scrum and Sam Vaughan converted to take the lead to 69-12 10 minutes into the second half and two more tries followed in quick succession when centre Stefan Shillingford raced in over 35 metres for a fine solo effort after 15 minutes of play then mid way through the second half with Sutton in a strong attacking position the ball was lost on the halfway line and D-K ran the ball up their right wing before switching back infield for second row Matt Perks to race in for the try.
Sam Vaughan converted both tries to stretch the lead to 83-12 but showing true spirit in spite of the scoreline Sutton bounced back to create a chance at a 5 metre scrum on the D-K try line and Tom Harris, who had moved from centre to back row to make way for Will Smewin to come off the bench into the centre allowing the versatile Harris to replace the newly returned flanker Rhoss Price, who had served an excellent shift on his return to 1st XV action. Seeing his chance as the ball worked free from the scrum Tom Harris scampered over for an excellent well taken score to the left of the posts. Again Joel James added his second conversion and Sutton moved to 83-19 with 27 minutes of the second half played and then just 5 minutes later Sutton set up another attack and as they swept play up the right wing, winger Tom Burrows cut back inside and off loaded to scrum half Zak Tyler, who weaved his way to the line for an excellent score gaining Sutton a bonus point for a 4th try and Joel James added the extra points to give Sutton the consolation of 26 points in a hard fixture against a very focused home side.
Unfortunately for Sutton although they showed great spirit and commitment throughout the game the home side completed a comprehensive victory by scoring two more tries in the remaining minutes. The first by 2nd row Matt Perks on 75 minutes and the second by centre Stefan Shillingford on 77 minutes, both converted by Sam Vaughan for the final scoreline of 97-26.
All at SCRFC congratulate old friends and rivals at Dudley K on their comprehensive victory and wish them well in the playoffs this year having lost narrowly to Syston in the playoff last season. Better luck this time.
We also say thank you to all the loyal supporters, who have given their strength and support to the players, coaches and admin staff, who have fought hard through a difficult season and hopefully the lessons leaned this season and the experience gained will be applied with good effect as we start the preparations for next season in Midlands 1 West, RFU level 6.
Match report 2 - 13th April 2019
Sutton Development Side 30pts v Dudley Kingswinford RFC 14pts
Midlands Reserve League - Division 2
The Sutton Development Side produced an excellent end of season performance against a strong Dudley-K 2nd XV, when struggling for a full XV and playing much of the game with only 14 players, Sutton achieved a heartening 30-14 victory after a high quality performance by both sides.
The Sutton man-of-the-match was Nathan Burchell, who has spent the season coaching the successful Sutton Ladies Side and had not played himself all season but happily he allowed himself to be persuaded to play in this final game and he produced a hat-trick of tries, supported by Jack Duthie, who scored a try and risked his injured ankle in responding to the call and Jack O'Brien, who was not intending to play but again was persuaded and had the satisfaction of scoring a try. So with 5 tries scored to secure the bonus point win and with Chris Hendley adding a penalty plus a conversion the Sutton second string under team manager Simon Davies and Player Develoment Coach Maria Crowfoot, finished their season on a high with a celebrated 30-14 victory.