THREE NORTH EAST
Sudbury 20 Upminster 12
A real team effort saw Sudbury return to winning ways on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over Upminster on Saturday.
Sudbury had to work hard for the win in difficult conditions which, once again, was not certain until the final whistle.
The home side scored after three phases of play when, at a second scrum deep into the Upminster 22-metre area, they won the ball back passed through the backs to Shaun Smith on the wing to score.
Upminster soon got into their stride with a deep kick moving play into the Sudbury half and drove over from five metres following a penalty lineout with the conversion giving them the lead.
Play was mostly in the centre of the park and evenly contested with both teams making errors in the wet.
Tom Summers opted to kick when Upminster were penalised midway in their own half, getting Sudbury’s noses back in front by the half-time whistle.
Early in the second half, Upminster scored a second try from a penalty lineout and, with three phases of play, drove over from close range seven minutes in.
Sudbury attempted several breaks during the second half with runs from Joe Birmingham, Fraser Beckett and Shaun Smith, but the visitors maintained a tight defence to prevent any tries being scored.
They were, however, conceding penalties under pressure in their own half.
Summers was in good form with the boot and slotted over four penalties in the second half, keeping the pressure on the visitors but not making the win secure until the final few minutes.
Even with the win, Sudbury slip to second place in the league and now have to play third-placed Old Cooperians away in two weeks’ time.
n Sudbury Under-10s sent 17 boys to Ipswich YM on Sunday, playing a total of seven matches between two teams, winning six and drawing one.
There was an abundance of tries, including an inevitable hatful from Tom Ryan, a brace from Arthur Burns and the first competitive tries from Logan Cripps and Ollie Woolf.
n Sudbury Under-15s lost 61-5 at Hadleigh in the Suffolk Plate as their opponents ran in 11 tries, including five for Arthur Romer-Lee.
Josh Bull, Josh Ditmore, Jackson Crisp, Joe Colcombe and Ben Foley (two) were the other scorers.