Shaun Smith hat-trick helps Sudbury to claim Old Haberdashers scalp at Whittome Field in London 1 North
Sudbury took another scalp at Whittome Field when they beat 4th placed Old Haberdashers 32-27 on Saturday to further consolidate their position just above the relegation battle.
It was probably their best performance this year when they outplayed the visitors for most of the afternoon. It was only in the last quarter they seemed to lose concentration and let Haberdashers back into the game and allow them to redeem two bonus points.
Sudbury started down the slope and into the stiff breeze and knocked-on on their own 22 metre area with their first move of the game. The ensuing scrum was held by Sudbury but they then gave away a penalty. Haberdashers opted to kick from the 22 before they realised they did not have a kicker and the attempt was way off target.
For the first 10 minutes Haberdashers had Sudbury under some pressure. They eventually did score after 12 minutes which served to wake Sudbury up.
From their first foray into Habs. territory, Dan Harding knocked on in the tackle as Sudbury got close to the line but as advantage was being played Tom Summers slotted over the kick.
Sudbury were now getting the best of the action and Shaun Smith pounced on a loose ball to score down the right wing.
Haberdashers were managing to disrupt the Sudbury lineout to keep them in the game but mistakes in midfield were causing them problems and Jack Dachtler broke as they fumbled again, putting Smith clear to score again.
Haberdashers then used their forwards effectively to pick and drive through the 22, crossing the line under the posts to give a half time score of 15-10.
In the second half Sudbury eased away from the visitors with some determined play. From the off they attacked and from a penalty lineout on the 22 the forwards and backs combined to throw the ball about and man-of-the-match Andy Goodbourn powered over from 15 out with only four minutes played.
A well placed kick by Tom Murray put the Blues back in the Habs red zone and Smith was again on hand to get his hat-trick.
Harry Maile was next to score with a darting run for a 32-10 scoreline.
With 15 minutes left Sudbury took their eye off the ball, allowing Haberdashers to enter the Blues 22 for what seemed to be the first in the half. They took a lineout and rolled the maul over the line to score against the run of play.
Sudbury had a man sent to the bin and the visitors maintained the pressure. Sudbury defended manfully but with two men down and a man in the bin they succumbed to a final try giving them two bonus points.