GALLERY & REPORT: Sudbury Rugby Club beat Ipswich YM to lift Suffolk Cup
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk Cup Final Sudbury 38 Ipswich YM 27 In a much-anticipated final which pitted underdog Ipswich YM against former national league outfit Sudbury, the west Suffolk side prevailed and lifted their first trophy since 1999.
Coach Graham Richards selected a youthful Sudbury side, with most of the team aged 21 or under.
And, as against Woodbridge in the semi-finals, the game started poorly for Sudbury as they were penalised in the first minute for not rolling away.
Despite missing that chance, YM – who play a league below Sudbury in Eastern Counties 1 – were the first to score just a few minutes later, claiming an unconverted try.
Sudbury rallied and on ten minutes, after securing good ball, it was moved to fly-half Ben Reece who split the YM defence and popped the ball to inside Tom Summers to score to level the scores at 5-5.
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On 26 minutes YM fought back, a converted try making it 12-5. Winger Shaun Smith answered for Sudbury, an unconverted try making the score 12-10.
Ipswich were undeterred though and countered with a converted try of their own to take a 19-10 lead into half-time.
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After a fiery half-time team talk from Richards, Frazer Beckett was brought on for Sudbury to replace Tom Murray at scrum-half, Austin Beckett replaced Ed Smart on the wing and Russell Hume came on for Ben Reece at fly-half.
And soon Sudbury fired back, as Smith collected Ethan Wright’s kick and touched down for his second try. After a conversion, it was 19-17 to YM.
Sudbury however were guilty of being caught needlessly offside as laziness crept in. After 54 minutes, Ipswich took the three points to extend their lead to 17-22.
Seven minutes later and Sudbury were ahead as Austin Beckett beat two defenders to score under the posts. An easy conversion made it 24-22.
Now Sudbury were in charge, and Frazer Beckett scored under the posts to underline their authority at 31-22 ahead.
As YM started to struggle with the pace, Sudbury iced the game, centre Wright scoring his second try to make it 38-22.
There was still time for YM to claim a late consolation try, but the day belonged to Sudbury, who lifted the Suffolk Cup for the first time since 1999.
Sudbury chairman Bob Waller said: “It was a tense game, as we expected. They were up for the match and I think our youngsters were a bit nervous, but they did us proud.
“It was nice for Sudbury to be back in there and back winning silverware.”
It comes as the club, which played national league rugby in the 90’s, continues to rebuild and reinvent itself with a focus on developing youth players.
And on Saturday, 17 of the club’s 19 players had come through their youth ranks.
“We’re trying to rebuild the club to be sustainable,” Waller said. “We’ll have three senior teams next year so this is all part of what we’re trying to do.
“It was great to see a lot of old faces come to watch the game – I was in the team when we won it the first time and we’ve got youngsters there playing now. It was a great day all round for the club.”