Sudbury win biggest game of the season to stay top...just!
- Credit: Su Anderson
Sudbury achieved their biggest win of the season by the smallest of margins on Saturday when they defeated second placed Cantabrigians in a London North 3 league fixture at Whittome Field.
Sudbury kicked off down the slope and in the early encounters went their way, the first scrum was taken against the head by Sudbury and the first line-out in the Cantabs 22 was taken by Sudbury and the maul was driven toward the visitors line. Four phases of play moved the ball across the width of the pitch to put Toby White clear to score after three minutes of play.
Both teams had solid defences so the chip ahead was used by both sides to try and create a gap and the ploy nearly gave Sudbury a second try but the kick was just too long. Sudbury kept up the pressure but it was a very close contest. Twenty minutes in Cantabs scored with a kick ahead for the winger to run out sprint the defence to score and convert to give them the lead. Cantabs missed a penalty and the half ended with the score at 5-7.
Both sides have produced results with high scores throughout the season but the dark, dank conditions and the parity of the teams was not going to produce a free-flowing game on the day so the second half was similar to the first.
Ten minutes into the half Cantabs mounted a drive deep into the Sudbury half, picking and driving to cross the line only to be held up, preventing the score but Sudbury eventually succumbed to the pressure as from the ensuing scrum they sucked in the blues defence then used the backs to find a gap to score and again convert.
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Sudbury now had to dig deep and raise their game with the help of a partisan crowd.
The game was being played out in the middle of the park but eventually worked their way back into the Cantabs half and was awarded a penalty which Tom Summers struck cleanly to give Sudbury at least a losing bonus point.
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With ten minutes left Sudbury took the lead with a maiden try by Ben Stanton with a strong run down the right wing and then round behind the posts.
The conversion gave Sudbury a one point lead and a tense ten minutes was to follow. Both teams were feeling the pressure, Cantabs worked their way into the Sudbury 22 and Sudbury gave away a penalty.
The referee indicated this would be the last action of the game so Cantabs opted to kick for goal which would give them a two point victory. The crowd held their breath, the referee called for silence but the ball shaded the wrong side of the post and Sudbury had retained their unbeaten record.