INJURY-RAVAGED Sudbury Rugby Club won 28-15 in the Suffolk derby against Stowmarket on Saturday with Josh Rix powering over from two scrums at Whittome Field.
In front of a large crowd, Sudbury took an 8-0 lead into half-time and dominated the match, never going behind before running out with an eight point winning margin ahead of going into their Christmas break.
The win, Sudbury’s third on the trot after losing six in a row, cements their sixth place position and moves them to within five points of Stowmarket, having trailed them by 10 going into the match.
In the football, AFC Sudbury stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 matches after coming from 2-0 down in the second half at home to Maldon & Tiptree to win 3-2.
A James Baker penalty was followed by a Rhys Darg double to ensure Sudbury got back to winning ways after two draws in their previous two games.
The result leaves AFC fifth in Ryman League Division One North, six points behind leaders and Suffolk rivals Needham Market with their next match at Soham Town Rangers on Boxing Day (for confirmed kick-off time, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press).
In the Ridgeons League, Hadleigh United lost 4-2 at Mildenhall Town to leave them still in 13th in the Premier Division, while in the First Division Cornard United remain second bottom after their torried run continued on the road at Downham Town, where they lost 2-0.
Halstead Town went down to a 3-2 loss at in-form Debenham LC, which leaves Jimmy Holder’s side eigth going into Christmas.
In the Premier League, Norwich City took a point at Goodison Park to leave them ninth after a 1-1 draw with Everton which saw Grant Holt give the Canaries the lead before Leon Osman hit an equaliser nine minutes from time.
At Portman Road, Ipswich Town sent their fans off to Christmas on a winning note, with a Keith Andrews header (his ninth goal of the campaign) 30 seconds into the second half proving the difference.
Arran Lee-Barrett, playing in goal in place of David Stockdale, who has now returned to parent club Fulham, pulled off three fine saves in the first half to ensure a rare clean sheet for the Tractor Boys, who move up one place to 19th in the Championship table.
•FOR a full round-up of results, including match action, reaction and previews for the week ahead, as well as our Talk of the Town Ipswich column, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press.