Sudbury see off Hampstead to win promotion
- Credit: Archant
London 2 promotion play-off Hampstead 7 Sudbury 37 Sudbury Rugby Club are back in London 1 North after an unanswered 22 second-half points saw them comfortably beat Hampstead 37-7 at Wildwood Road to clinch promotion in the play-off game, writes Ken Watkins.
Sudbury, runners up in London 2 NE, took control of the game after the interval. Hampstead, runners-up in London2 NW, enjoyed a lot of first-half possession, and briefly held a 7-3 lead.
But two tries in the dying minutes of the half swung the game Sudbury’s way, and they were rarely troubled after that.
Sam Rust gave Sudbury a third minute lead with a penalty. Hampstead, despite having a lot of the ball, found progress hard against Sudbury’s swift and determined defence.
But on a rare incursion into Sudbury’s half, the powerful Ayi broke away from a scrum to score under the posts after 26 minutes, Tommy Jackson converted.
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Three minutes later Austin Beckett put Sudbury ahead after Sam Maile’s initial burst and swift handling across to the far side of the pitch.
And just before the interval Charles Jackson went over after Sudbury won a line-out and moved the ball rapidly across the field. Rust converted for a 15-7 interval lead.
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Rust added another penalty after 44 minutes, and scored a try 14 minutes later, shrugging off a couple of tackles to finish off a move started deep in Sudbury’s half. He converted for a 25-7 lead, and the game had effectively gone beyond Hampstead.
Jake Thurlow got the fourth try after 69 minutes, again following swift handling which stretched a tiring home defence, Rust converting.
And after 74 minutes Austin Beckett broke at speed from inside his own half. Facing the last defender, he passed to brother Frazer to run in and score.
Hampstead, to their credit, produced a late burst of pressure, but Sudbury’s defence, excellent throughout, never looked like conceding.