Late Summers slip proves costly as Sudbury fall short

ON THE RUN: Match action from Sudbury's narrow 17-16 home defeat to Wanstead at Whittome Field on Saturday
ON THE RUN: Match action from Sudbury's narrow 17-16 home defeat to Wanstead at Whittome Field on Saturday

Sudbury 16 Upminster 17

LONDON LEAGUE THREE NORTH EAST

Sudbury 16 Upminster 17

A last-minute slip at a penalty by Tom Summers proved costly as Sudbury came within a whisker of overcoming third-placed Upminster.

In their first game since the Christmas break, Sudbury took time to get going against a side probably a stone a man heavier.

It was well into the half before they discovered how to cope with the powerful scrum but both teams had solid defences which prevented either team from dominating the centre ground.

Two early tries from Upminster gave them a good start, both scores coming from scrummages deep in Sudbury territory and the pack pushing the Blues back over their own line.

Tom Summers reduced the deficit with a penalty after 20 minutes of play before Sudbury settled and coped much better for the second half of the first period.

They should have scored on a couple of occasions only to come away with nothing after good passages of play deep into Upminster territory and in time added on in the first half perhaps should have opted to kick an easy penalty rather than go for the try.

Playing up the hill in the second half, Sudbury opened with a penalty from Summers and then a fine try from Austin Beckett eight minutes in. Summers broke the defence and Beckett ran from his own half to score.

Sudbury had two further chances to score but were on the end of two harsh decisions by the referee. One was for a debatable forward pass when Sudbury were clear and another as the corner flag was taken out in the act of scoring.

Upminster extended their lead with a third try but it was all Sudbury for the last 10 minutes.

With the score at 17-11 and less than one minute to play, Beckett again made the run of his life to score almost under the posts, leaving Summers an easy kick to win by one point.

But he slipped over on his run up, got up and took the kick with the opposition bearing down on him only to see the kick went just wide and relief spreading across Upminster faces.

Sudbury, who are away at Wanstead, unbeaten at home this season, on Saturday, cannot complain as they should have sewn the game up earlier.