Leaders survive close affair to keep unbeaten record intact

SECURING PLAY: Sudbury win the scrum to feed the ball out to Russell Hume
SECURING PLAY: Sudbury win the scrum to feed the ball out to Russell Hume

Sudbury 15 Cantabrigians 12

THREE NORTH EAST

Sudbury 15

Cantabrigians 12

Sudbury are now a quarter of the way through the season and remain undefeated — but only just after their closest game of the campaign.

Facing Cantabrigians at Whittome Field on Saturday for the second week running, their opponents had clearly done their homework from their cup clash.

It produced a nail-biting game with the result in doubt right until the final whistle.

Cantabs kicked off and Sudbury ran the ball back at the visitors, moving it about at great pace.

Within two minutes, Sudbury had been awarded a penalty which Tom Summers kicked with ease.

Shaun Smith ran in a try soon after. From a penalty lineout and three phases of play, he picked up a difficult pass off his feet to score and with Sudbury playing the game at 100 miles an hour Cantabs were shell-shocked.

Sudbury enjoyed the overriding majority of the territory in the first quarter but the visitors settled into their gameplan and while not developing many attacking moves, kicked long behind the Sudbury defence in an effort to put them on the backfoot.

Sudbury were prevented from playing their usual flowing game, but John Coone was next to score when the ball was passed across the field from right to left through several phases but there was no conversion.

Rain now added to Sudbury’s woes making handling more difficult and Cantabs were capitalising on the home side’s mistakes.

A kick to touch from a penalty gave the visitors a lineout in the Sudbury 22-metre area and they trundled the ensuing maul over the line to make it 15-5 at the break.

Cantabrigians controlled the pace of the game in the second half with their big pack, but did not dominate the set pieces.

Cantabs missed two penalty kicks and Sudbury crossed the white line with a good attacking move but were denied the score, the pass being adjudged forward.

Cantabs were awarded a penalty try, half an hour into the session, when they hacked ahead and with the Sudbury defence in disarray a desperate tackle on a man without the ball gave the referee no option.

The easy conversion now made the last 10 minutes a very tense affair, but Sudbury survived.

There will be a coach to Wanstead on Saturday (3pm). Call 01787 377547 for details.

n Sudbury have been drawn away to Harrow in the second round of the Senior Vase on November 16.