Latest:
  • A very big THANK YOU to Monica Bradley Associates – our headline sponsors this season...

Latest 1st XV match report

Indiscipline Costs Sutton on Rugby’s Return
Westcombe Park 38-28 Sutton & Epsom
On Saturday 7th March 2020 Sutton hosted Redruth in National League South and not even the most strident club Jeremiah would have thought that the next league encounter would be on 4th September 2021. A lot of Adam’s Ale has trickled under the pontoon since then. Suffice it to say that following numerous RFU gatherings the Black & Whites have returned to Tier 5 and London & SE Premier. Please note that due to league restructuring this campaign will be completed with promotions but not relegations. Despite this apparently sacrilegious assault on the very fibre of British sport there have not been protests by supporters waving poorly designed cardboard signs outside Twickenham… well not to my knowledge.

This has been the longest absence of competitive rugby since the 5 year, 6 months and 7 day break caused by the Kaiser. On the Saturday of the Oval Test the Goddington Dene crowd admired the celerity of the wingers rather than the pace of fast bowlers. Relegation from National 2 has meant salvete to many but there were debuts for Ross Parsons (Esher RFC), Owen Clemett (Guernsey RFC) and Ciaran Mohr from Sutton’s own ranks. The kick off by Tom Lennard was greeted with a roar of approval by the spectators who were delighted to witness rugby once more. It only took two minutes of the campaign for veteran Sam Hurley to open the S&E account with a penalty. Five minutes later Cameron Hancock levelled the scores. Sutton regained the lead when Stefan Cooksammy made a break in the Westcombe Park 22 and fed Jamie See on the inside to run in unopposed. Sam Hurley added the extras for 10-3 lead for the visitors.

The hosts recovered first through another Cameron Hancock penalty. Then in the 25th minute ran back a clearance kick from halfway, switching the play to the opposite flank they adroitly created space for Harry Sansbury to race clear and score in the corner to take the lead for the first time, 11-10. On the half hour Sam Hurley bisected the uprights for his second penalty to edge Sutton ahead 13-11. The end of the half set the tone for what was to follow. Hooker Jack Howes received a yellow card. The hosts exploited their numerical advantage with clinical efficiency as a further Sam Hurley penalty was sandwiched between tries by Sean Beckett and Nick Cook, the second of was converted by Cameron Hancock. Westcombe Park led Sutton & Epsom 23-16 at the interval.

The Goddington Dene team refreshed their XV by bringing on replacements Marc Muhlemann, James Burton and Nathan Thomas at the start of the second period. Ten minutes into the half Jed Hamilton had extended the lead to 28-16 by touching down for the bonus point try. It was imperative that the Black & Whites scored next and within five minutes they had been awarded a penalty try. A delightful crossfield kick by Tom Lennard intended for Andy Matthews in the far corner was intentionally knocked into touch by Cameron Hancock who received a yellow card as the gap narrowed to 28-23. S&E could not take advantage of the extra man. Indeed the home team were next to score when Sean Beckett collected his second try.

Trailing by 10 points, 33-23, Sutton made their task turn from uphill to mountainous. Firstly, Stefan Cooksammy received a yellow card. Secondly, Jed Hamilton scored Westcombe Park’s sixth and final try. Finally, from the restart, replacement Luke Halford received a yellow card for taking a player out in the air. With six minutes on the watch, trailing by 15 points and down to 13 men it was time for the Black & Whites to offer up prayers to Saint Jude. There was no divine intervention but a spirited response by the visitors in the last minute of regulation time. From an attacking line out the forwards secured the ball and after sustained pressure Will Lloyd muscled his way over from close range. That concluded the scoring in the contest. A bonus point victory by 38-28 for the hosts whilst the visitors were left to contemplate what might have been if they had played with a full XV throughout.

Westcombe Park were deserving winners outscoring the Black & Whites 6-3 in the try count. There will be frustration in the Sutton camp over the triple handicap of yellow cards especially when they reflect on the number of points conceded when the opposition had the full compliment in comparison. The excellent opening score by the backs and the tenacity to score at the end demonstrates the side has not only skill but also spirit. As with most teams this season it will take a few weeks to get back into the swing of rugby, adjusting to the new regulations as well as gaining match fitness.

Reset scrummages, the convoluted choreography before the line out throw and the suspicion that the opposition are offside all game, even these parts of rugby, as tedious as trying to conjugate a Latin verb, had a joyous feel after such a lengthy absence. The rugby renaissance returns to Rugby Lane next Saturday 11th September when CS Stags 1863 are Sutton’s opposition.

Sutton & Epsom
Sam Hurley, Andy Matthews, Stefan Cooksammy, Jamie See, Ciaran Mohr, Tom Lennard, Ross Parsons, Alex Mount, Jack Howes, Will Lloyd, Matt Harwood, George Drye (capt), Jordan Coombes, George London, Matt Whitaker. Reps: Luke Halford, Phillip Williams & Owen Clemett.

 

An Inspired Facility

Club Accreditation

http://www.rfu.com

Our Charity Partner

Our Community Partners

Our Sponsors

Enquire about sponsorship: