SCRFC 1st XV Team Manager.
Walsall Colts 28pts (3 tries) v Sutton Colts 28pts (4 tries)
Fred Rowley Cup Final
After a season of mixed fortunes for the Sutton club the season ended well with the senior men's side avoiding relegation after a difficult end to the season and the Sutton Women having won their league with an unbeaten run narrowly missed out on consecutive promotions with a 15-12 defeat in the play-off but the Sutton Colts brought the competitive season to a glorious conclusion with first an epic 62-3 victory over Stourbridge Colts in the Semi-final of the Fred Rowley Cup on Tues 23rd April then followed up with an outstanding performance against a strong Walsall Colts side in the Final at the Walsall ground on Tues 30th April 2019 to retain the cup for the first time in their history of playing in the Prestigious Competition for young rugby players.
The exceptional game, which was a credit to both sides ended in a 28 all draw but with the young age group denied extra time under RFU laws for player welfare reasons the outcome was decided on the tries scored and as Sutton scored 4 tries against the 3 scored by Walsall, Sutton were declared the winners and along with their coaches Joe Gavin, Gregg Henderson, Sandy O'Hare and Jack Ward, deservedly celebrated their momentous victory, which ended the SCRFC season on a high note appreciated by all at the club.
The game was played in perfect conditions on the new Astroturf surface newly laid for last season at the Walsall club and in a pulsating contest the lead changed hands several times over the designated 70 minute period, of 35 minutes each way for the game.
Walsall took the early initiative with a penalty by their talented fly half Will Hennessy for a 3-0 lead after 3 minutes of play, which he extended to 6-0 with a second penalty after 12 minutes of play before George Creed at fullback for Sutton, showed his amazing talent as he raced in for Suttons opening score to close to 6-5, 14 minutes into an absorbing contest but as the visitors settled into their game they scored consecutive tries with Sam Williams scoring on 25 minutes, converted by Eddie Chitnis then Ollie Peglar crossed after 28 minutes for an unconverted try taking Sutton into a 17-6 lead, which they carried into the break on 35 minutes.
Walsall started the second half strongly with Rhys Gaddu claiming the first try of the second half on 38 minutes to close to 11-17 before Eddie Chitnis landed a penalty to take Sutton into a 20-11 lead on 40 minutes but Walsall responded with another penalty on 44 minutes for 14-20 before regaining the lead at 21-20 after 56 minutes with a try by George Perkins converted by Will Hennerssy. Sutton responded immediately with an excellent try by George Creed in the left corner to retake the lead 25-21 but once again Walsall showed their strength and they fought back to score a try by Dan Khan, converted by the reliable Will Hennessy to take a decisive 28-25 lead going into the final 7 minutes to set-up a dramatic climax to an outstanding final, which was a credit to everyone involved with this excellent Competition as it brought out the best from the youthful teams from both clubs.
In the event Sutton stepped up their efforts in the final period of play winning a penalty in front of the Walsall posts, giving them the tricky decision as they trailed by 3 points with just minutes left to play, of whether to have a scrum or tap penalty and gamble on getting over the line for a decisive try... or to take the three points on offer to draw level in the game but then allowing Walsall the chance to restart the game kicking the ball back into the Sutton half with the risk of a penalty, drop goal or try costing Sutton victory in the final seconds of injury time. Wisely Sutton decided on taking the points and Eddie Chitnis unerringly kicked the penalty to level the scores and from the restart Sutton defended well against the last desperate Walsall offensive before kicking the ball safely into touch to end the game and claim a memorable victory on the tries scored rule.
The young Sutton team, their coaches and support staff are to be congratulated on an amazing end to the season and the Sutton club can be confident that the playing future at the club is in safe hands with young players like those on display plus the up and coming players emerging through the junior ranks at Sutton bodes well for a bright future at the club.
A happy Summer to all.