Upminster 20 Sudbury 6
SUDBURY travelled to Upminster after a two-week break and suffered in the high winds and rain as they slumped to their fourth successive defeat, conceding two late tries.
Upminster has never been a popular place for the blue and whites – it has a deceptive slope and the wind is always a problem on the heavy ground and Saturday was no exception.
Sudbury played with the wind and down the slope in the first half, playing the first 10 minutes in the Upminster half but the home side worked their way up the pitch, forcing Sudbury to defend their line.
A five-metre lineout allowed Upminster to recycle the ball quickly and pass it into the centre to score and convert for a seven point lead after 13 minutes.
The game was played at a good pace but it was 19 minutes before the first scrum. Sudbury won their own put-in and set Charlie Jackson off on the first of a couple of good breaks but he was felled just short of the line.
Eventually the pressure showed and Upminster gave away a penalty which Tom Summers kicked over.
The referee awarded a huge number of penalties throughout the game and it was difficult to know whether it was the conditions or his harsh line, but just before half-time Summers got a second chance to kick and made no mistake for a 7-6 half-time score.
Upminster, well used to the conditions, used the slope to their advantage and scored a penalty early in the second half but it was Sudbury who were playing some good rugby to keep play away from their own 22 and keep Upminster on their toes.
Two tries in the last 10 minutes, as Sudbury ran out of steam and men, playing the last five a man down, gave the home side a comfortable win but Sudbury should not be disheartened by the performance.
Sudbury face Wymondham at home this week and will be looking for as many supporters as possible to come and cheer them on.