Blues edged out by determined Romford

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LONDON LEAGUE

DIVISION TWO NORTH EAST

Romford & Gidea Park 24

Sudbury 17

SUDBURY travelled to Romford on Saturday, after an extended Christmas break, for a tough match against the third-placed home side.

Sudbury put up a spirited fight and the result was in doubt right up to the final whistle, with both sides competing for every phase of play.

Sudbury were still without Chris Whybrow with broken ribs, but Barney Goodchild was available, back from university.

Sudbury’s game plan was to go on the offensive from the off and it was a full 10 minutes before Romford were able to mount any attack deep into Sudbury territory.

It took 24 minutes before a score was made, when a stray pass bounced off a Sudbury player’s chest straight into the hands of a Romford player, who ran through unopposed.

Sudbury replied with a try of their own after a couple of phases of play, they created an overlap as the ball was moved through the backs and with a final pass inside and then back out to Olly Chapman, who touched down to come within two points.

But Romford increased their lead from a penalty lineout 15 metres out, sceuring their own ball before the prop crashed over from short range.

Sudbury finished the half strongly, forcing two penalties deep in Romford territory. Romford were lucky not to get a card or give away a penalty try, but from a five-metre scrum, Suds secured possession and Mark Bolton claimed the points with the conversion by Tom Summers for a half-time score of 14-12.

Sudbury lost a man to the bin early in the second half after the referee had warned them about slowing the game down and Romford took advantage of this to kick ahead, putting the winger into space to score.

Twenty minutes in, Sudbury scored from a scrum. Chapman passed swiftly to Richard Lorking and another good pass to Matt Johnston put him clear.

The Blues kept the pressure on for the rest of the half, but Romford stepped up a gear for the last five minutes to ensure the bonus point and their pack worked hard to score in the last minute of the game.

They failed to convert, so Sudbury benefited with a bonus point of their own.

n Suds are home to Rochford on Saturday (2.15pm).