After just one season in London League Division One North, where they finished third from bottom, Sudbury are facing the drop.
Although relegation has yet to be officially confirmed by the RFU, Division One North secretary John Gregory has informed the club that the team will be playing in Division Two North East next season.
The news has not come as a shock. Sudbury were bottom of the table until earlier this year before a late season improvement in results took them above Chelmsford and Barking, but too late to get them out of the bottom three.
Sudbury gave a glimpse of what might have been, scoring six tries in their 42-19 demolition of Saffron Walden on Saturday, and coach Ben Scully is determined his players will use the experience of this disappointing season to come back stronger for the next.
“This year has been all about learning,” said Scully, who is left ruing the missed opportunities which have characterised the season. “It’s a tough league, and you have to respect London One.
“The boys have the motivation to come back up, and next season we will come back stronger and still continue to play exciting rugby.
“We have had some silly losses where we have made silly mistakes. I know what the boys can do, and they showed that today. If we had done that more we could have finished mid-table. It’s been a season of missed opportunities.
“But the season is done, and I’m pleased we finished with a bang and not a whimper. We wanted to finish strongly and put on a bit of a show in front of a good crowd.”
Next season Scully will be combining coaching Sudbury with coaching the Norwegian national team. The latter will be in European action during the summer. Both Sudbury and the Norwegian RFU are happy with the arrangement.
“Sudbury has got potential. So I certainly want to be here for a couple of years to come and keep really developing the squad and see how far we can take them,” he added.
“From a personal point of view, some international coaching challenges me in a different way and keeps me developing. It was an easy decision to stay at Sudbury and an easy decision to take the Norway post.”
Scully will be giving Sudbury’s players lifting programmes for May and June, “to get a bit of size and strength on the boys”. Come July, and the onfield running will start, building up for the new season in September.