Blues show their fighting qualities in narrow defeat

NO WAY THROUGH: Sudburys Charles Jackson (ball in hand) sees his attempted break halted by a number of Barking players
NO WAY THROUGH: Sudburys Charles Jackson (ball in hand) sees his attempted break halted by a number of Barking players
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LONDON LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

Sudbury 28

Barking 31

A much improved performance on Saturday was still not enough for a first victory of the season for the Sudbury side.

But two points was the deserved reward for their best showing of the season so far.

Sudbury kicked off up the slope and Barking returned the kick to put play in the Sudbury half, but they put the ball through the hands and took play to the visitors from the off.

Sudbury took the first scrum before Barking were caught offside to give Sudbury their first opportunity to put points on the board, but the kick was just wide.

Barking were making a lot of errors and Sam Rust slotted over a penalty after 10 minutes of play.

Sudbury should have capitalised on the Barking errors during this period, but were unable to crack the defence and Henry Cowling, who was again having a good game, was given a yellow card for a misdemeanour in the red zone 20 minutes into the half.

Barking pushed the Blues over the line from a five-metre scrum with Sudbury a man light, and scored again from the restart, keeping ball in hand to move across the park.

Sudbury replied when Frazer Beckett crossed the line after a scrum in the centre of the park, and quick hands put the ball wide for the score behind the posts.

With 40 minutes played, Barking were caught offside 12 metres inside their own half and Rust again opted to kick and made no mistake to take the score to 13-14 at half time.

Barking scored first in the second half when Sudbury were caught offside and Fatoma was on target,

Sudbury continued to attack and were unlucky not to score when they had a player taken down without the ball when he was clear, but did score when from a scrum on the five-metre line they shipped the ball wide to Jonny Taylor on the left wing for a one-point lead.

A scrum in the 22 gave Barking the lead again when they worked the ball to the middle of the park and scored by the posts.

Charles Jackson kept Sudbury in the hunt with a dash down the right with 15 minutes left, but the visitors replied with a try from Mullins after another scrum in the 22.

Mindful of the bonus points rules, Sudbury put in a last push and worked the ball out to the wing for Rust to power over from close range.

A much better showing this week, and a boost for the team, but also a disappointment knowing they came so close.

n Sudbury competed in the Landrover Cup, a tournament for under-11s and under-12s.

They were in a pool with Diss and Beccles, with the game against the hosts first up. Sudbury moved the ball around well and scored twice in the first half. They increased their lead early in the second half but Diss replied strongly to pull one back, Sudbury winning 3-1.

Against Beccles, Sudbury led by two at half-time. They went 3-0 up, with Beccles failing to reply.

The pools were mixed up and Sudbury were up against the winners of the other two pools, Newmarket and Southwold. The game against Newmarket was very tight, Sudbury scoring the only try of the game.

The final match against Southwold was a real nailbiter. Southwold dominated possession in the first half, but could not find a way through the Sudbury defence.

The second half started well and Sudbury’s first meaningful attack saw them score. Southwold replied almost straight from the restart, but Sudbury’s defence held out for a thoroughly deserved draw.